Have your say to support Victoria’s fishing and aquaculture

Have your say to support Victoria’s fishing and aquaculture

The Victorian Government is seeking public feedback on proposed regulatory changes that it claims will benefit the fishing and aquaculture sectors of the state.

The Fisheries Regulations 2019 are designed to ensure effective and efficient management of the state’s fish resources and support a productive aquaculture industry for the next ten years.

Victorian Fisheries Authority CEO, Travis Dowling, is encouraging anglers, commercial fishers, seafood producers and the community to have their say on the proposed laws that apply to the indigenous, recreational and commercial sectors.

“We know Victorians love their seafood and fishing, so we’re asking everyone to get involved by providing valuable information and perspectives that can help shape and improve their experience in Victoria,” Mr Dowling said.

The Department of Transport and the Victorian Fisheries Authority have jointly developed the proposed regulations following consultation with key stakeholders.

They say that there are some important changes proposed that will benefit recreational fishing in Victoria. These include changes to size and bag limits for some species and permitting additional types of equipment that can be used. For example, new measures to protect native fish such as river blackfish will ensure these populations are sustainable for future generations to enjoy.

The Victorian Government is also working to improve opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons in recreational fishing, and the proposed regulations will provide an exemption from the requirement to purchase and hold a recreational fishing licence. The indication is that this will support those where a legal right is not already recognised, while maintaining the same bag limits and other restrictions that apply to licensed recreational fishers.

A number of important changes are also proposed to grow Victoria’s commercial fisheries and to transition to world class fisheries management technology. These include:

  • establishing three fisheries for pipi, octopus and banded morwong, with new licence classes that will encourage development, stewardship and investment for these species;
  • transitioning to modern and efficient reporting arrangements through use of electronic reporting of catch and effort and, in the case of abalone, catch disposal information, and
  • creating more efficient enforcement operations by expanding use of vessel monitoring systems, while simultaneously removing the need for those fishers to report prior to fishing or landing.

“These proposed changes demonstrate the Government’s commitment to grow and increase the economic, social and cultural value of our commercial fisheries,” Mr Dowling said.

“Through Target One Million, we are also delivering works that will directly benefit recreational fishers, giving families better opportunities to spend some quality time together outdoors.”

All submissions in relation to the proposed Regulations will be considered before the Minister for Fishing and Boating makes a final decision on whether to proceed with the proposed Regulations.

Interested industry stakeholders and the community can obtain the Regulatory Impact Statement including further information on the proposed changes at https://getinvolved.transport.vic.gov.au/fishreg2019