Another important step has been taken to end commercial net fishing in Port Phillip Bay, with the introduction of catch limits that cap the total harvest of fish that can be taken by commercial licence holders in Port Phillip Bay and Western Port.
It is the next step in delivering on the Andrews Labor Government’s election commitment to end netting in Port Phillip Bay by 2022.
This is a first for Port Phillip Bay and unlike many other fisheries, there have been no limits placed on the amount of fish that can be caught.
Recently, 33 of the 43 commercial fishing licence holders in the bay accepted compensation packages to exit the fishery next month.
The departure of these 33 licence holders will leave more fish for recreational anglers and help grow recreational fishing on Melbourne and Geelong’s doorstep.
The new catch limits ensure that as those 33 netting licences are removed from the bay, the total commercial catch reduces too.
The new limits apply from 1 April 2016 to the 10 remaining licence holders in the bay, eight of whom will stay in a non-net commercial fishery after 2022.
The new catch limits are accompanied by the introduction of strict reporting measures to ensure compliance.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“We are getting on with our Target One Million plan to grow recreational fishing participation to one million anglers and get more people fishing, more often.”
“The catch limits will mean the recreational fishing community gain immediate benefits during the seven year phase out of netting. It prevents remaining licence holders from just increasing netting effort when licences are removed.”
“Removing net fishing will improve recreational fishing opportunities for beginners and experts and encourage more Victorians to get outdoors with family and friends.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020