The Victorian Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to improve opportunities for Victorian recreational fishers with a $16.2 million investment in the 2011-12 Victorian Budget.
Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh said the Coalition Government would spend about $4 million a year over the next four years to breed more native and salmonoid fish.
“This funding is in addition to our commitment to return all revenue raised from the sale of recreational fishing licences to the recreational fishing industry,” Mr Walsh said.
“The funding announced in the Budget will see more fish including the iconic Murray Cod, golden perch and rainbow and brown trout bred at the Snobs Creek Hatchery.
“Extra funding will also be used to make improvements to recreational fishing infrastructure, including artificial reefs, fish-cleaning tables and access to jetties.”
Mr Walsh said recreational fishing generated significant regional economic activity and growth while providing substantial social benefits for families and communities.
“The Coalition Government is committed to improving opportunities for recreational fishers to ensure Victoria remains a top fishing destination,” Mr Walsh said.
“We will also establish a new Recreational Fishing Multicultural Liaison Team to work with community leaders to identify and respond to the fishing expectations and preferences of Victoria’s diverse and growing population.”
Other recreational fishing projects funded in the Budget include:
- development of new recreational fisheries, including the stocking of trout cod, Macquarie perch, freshwater catfish and Australian bass in suitable waterways;
- installation of fish ladders to improve fish migration and production;
- investigate opportunities to stock black bream and estuary perch in the Anglesea River, subject to the scientific review of the estuary;
- working with relevant authorities to improve access tracks and upgrade existing boat launching facilities for recreational fishing;
- conducting more public forums for recreational fishers and department staff to exchange ideas on ways to improve the management of Victoria’s fisheries;
- working with recreational and commercial fishers to implement measures to protect spawning fish stocks near river mouths;
- increasing fisheries patrols on weekends and public holidays; and
- developing and implementing research and development projects to support recreational fishing.
Mr Walsh said the Coalition had also committed $900,000 to continue the highly successful fisheries intelligence reporting line (13 FISH).
“Since the start of the program in September 2003, more than 10,000 calls have been received through 13 FISH,” Mr Walsh said.
“Based on information received through these calls, 112 prosecutions have been launched, 803 Infringement Notices issued and 1910 intelligence reports developed.”
Media contact: Stephanie Ryan 0488 441 820