The Andrews Labor Government today celebrated a major milestone in its work to end commercial netting in Port Phillip Bay.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford today joined fishing and media icon Rex Hunt at Albert Park Angling Club to announce that 33 of the 43 Port Phillip Bay licence holders who have caught 87 per cent of the key targeted species in the bay have accepted the Government’s compensation package to exit this April.
The removal of netting in Port Phillip Bay is a key component of the Andrews Government’s Target One Million plan for recreational fishing, which aims to get more people fishing more often, by boosting participation to one million anglers by 2020.
Eight Port Phillip Bay licence holders have elected to stay in the fishery after 2022 using fishing methods other than netting like line fishing and longlines.
Only two licence holders have chosen not to take the compensation offers in the first year of the Government’s seven year phase out of commercial netting.
The 10 fishers continuing to operate in the bay will fish under a catch limit, netting will be phased out of the bay with Corio Bay closed to all nets on 1 April 2018, and netting removed from all of Port Phillip Bay by 1 April 2022.
After consultation with Seafood Industry Victoria and licence holders the government increased the budget for the compensation from the $20 million in the original election commitment.
The financial incentives and the increased funding built into the legislation will deliver the majority of the expected benefits to recreational fishers well before the eight years of the original election commitment.
Investing in recreational fishing not only makes sense from a social and community perspective, but contributes $7.1 billion each year to the Victorian economy.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“This is a milestone moment for the Andrews Labor Government and for recreational anglers.”
“More fish in the bay is a win for recreational fishers and families, providing more fish to catch in Victoria’s most popular fishery.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020