Bay fishers urged to do the right thing

Bay fishers urged to do the right thing

The spring sun and snapper season are seeing large numbers of fishers flocking to Port Phillip to enjoy Victoria’s most popular fishery.

Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) Acting CEO Paul Shea said it has been great to see so many families out safely enjoying their time on the water. “We know how popular this time of year is out on the bay, and it’s wonderful that plenty of fishers can wet a line again,” Mr Shea said.

As always during the traditionally busy period, Fisheries Officers are ensuring those out on the water are doing the right thing, whether they are casting from the shore, a jetty or a boat.

Recently officers have received numerous reports via the 13 FISH reporting hotline of illegal fishing in the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary, near Beaumaris. The boundaries of this marine park are clearly marked with yellow or green boundary posts.

Fisheries Officers have responded by patrolling this area using both marked and unmarked boats and jet-skis and a large number of infringement notices have been issued. Infringements related to taking fish and using fishing equipment in a marine sanctuary.

 Investigations are also continuing to identify further possible offending by boaters that left the marine protected area prior to officers being able to speak with them. “Fishers should familiarise themselves with marine park boundaries before they leave home,” Mr Shea said.

“Our Marine Parks and Sanctuaries exist to protect Victoria’s unique and diverse marine environments, now and for the future.”

“If you suspect illegal fishing is taking place at any time, ring our 24/7 reporting hotline, 13 FISH (13 3474), to speak directly to a Fisheries Officer. Make the call – make the difference.”

The VFA’s Vic Fishing app also features a “Can I Fish Here?” function, which uses your phone’s GPS location to determine whether you are within a marine park or sanctuary.

The app also contains a digital copy of the recreational fishing guide, so you can stay across bag and catch limits whenever and wherever you’re fishing. The app can be downloaded free from the App Store or Google Play.