Labor Angling For One Million Recreational Fishers

Daniel Andrews | 

An Andrews Labor Government will invest $35 million to phase out commercial netting, upgrade fishing clubs and increase the number of recreational fishers to one million by the year 2020.

Under Labor’s plan, Target One Million, we will encourage more Victorians to take up a great pastime which currently contributes $2.3 billion to Victoria’s social and economic wellbeing. Labor will:

  • Allocate $20 million to halt commercial netting in Port Phillip and Corio Bays over eight years, increasing fish stocks for recreational anglers and offering a clear and fair exit strategy for licence holders. Labor will impose a sliding cap on the commercial catch, based on the average catch over the previous three years. The cap will reduce each year to prevent licence holders from expanding their operations.  Labor will also ban netting at the mouth of the rivers in the Gippsland Lakes.
  • Establish a $10 million Better Fishing Facilities Fund to develop new recreational fishing reefs, improve boat launching facilities and access to waterways, and install fish cleaning tables and fish aggregating devices.
  • Invest $5 million in Target One Million’s stocking and education programs. Under the plan, all fishing clubs will be eligible for ‘Stronger Fishing Clubs’ grants of up to $2000 to promote membership and fishing in their community. Labor will also implement a marine species stocking program in Victoria’s drought-affected bays and inlets and increase fish stocks from 3 million to 5 million a year. School education and children’s fishing programs will also be established with Parks Victoria.

Labor will also take action to maintain Lake Toolondo as Victoria’s best trout fishing location, open recreational trout cod fisheries in Beechworth and aim to stock 15,000 one year old barramundi into Hazelwood Pondage to create a new recreational fishery for the Latrobe Valley. In addition, no new marine parks will be established under Labor.

The Napthine Coalition Government made life harder for fishers, cutting funds to Fisheries Victoria and sacking a record number of researchers. In Victoria, 750,000 people currently participate in recreational fishing.

Quotes attributable to Mr Andrews 

“More people should get outdoors and enjoy this great pastime, which contributes so much to our economy and our way of life.” 

“By supporting clubs and phasing out commercial netting, we can increase the number of recreational fishers to one million by the year 2020.” 

“We’re on the side of recreational fishers, and we’re offering a clear, fair and structured exit strategy for commercial licence holders.”

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