From the VR Fish desk
  |  First Published: July 2009

The end of the financial year has brought the finalisation of the Victorian Fisheries Consultative Arrangements, which were passed through Parliament on 25 June 2009, with no changes to the Primary Industries Legislative (Amendment) Bill.

VRFish will be seeking a meeting with Fisheries Victoria to discuss the Minister for Agriculture’s October 2008 Policy Statement and the creation of the Fisheries Consultative Body. VRFish will continue in its role as peak body for recreational fishing in Victoria, the Minister for Agriculture has confirmed his commitment for greater security for VRFish, providing three years of funding, subject to contractual arrangements.

The Fisheries Consultative Body, comprising of five people with knowledge about recreational, commercial, indigenous fishing, aquaculture and fisheries conservation, will be established to oversee the design, quality and transparency of consultation plans to be delivered by DPI. This will include provided advice on who should be consulted, and how, tailored to the specific matter under consideration. On a positive note, Murray cod is now listed as a priority species. This means that anyone illegally targeting Murray cod will face harsher penalties (including a jail term) if they are found with a commercial quantity of Murray cod.

In December this year, Fisheries Victoria (DPI) convened a cross-jurisdictional workshop to discuss the key issues, opportunities and viability of establishing a new Macquarie perch recreational fishery in Victoria. The desired outcomes from this workshop were to; improve cross-state and territory policy and research and development collaboration on Macquarie perch captive breeding and stocking initiatives, enhance Victorian Macquarie perch recreational fishing opportunities supported by key stakeholders and jurisdictions built on quality science. Workshop participants recognised conservation concerns for Macquarie perch and the legislative requirements for Macquarie perch as a listed threatened species.

They acknowledged the ongoing conservation efforts for Macquarie perch and the need for any recreational fishery to be developed as part of the National Recovery Plan and Victorian Action Statement. Research directions were identified with particular interest in formalising research collaboration between NSW and Victoria DPI agencies in respect of captive breeding. Research directions will now need to be refined, prioritised and developed in the form of a research funding proposal.

The workshop participants also agreed to promote stewardship by the angling community toward conservation and utilisation of Macquarie perch in the Victorian Draft Action Statement on Macquarie perch and the Draft National Macquarie perch Recovery Plan. If you are interested in reading the Outcomes of the Cross-Jurisdiction Workshop on Macquarie Perch, it is available at http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/fishing

And finally, VRFish are calling all budding photographers to submit an entry to the VRFish Fishing Lines Cover Photo Competition. The winning photograph will be used as the front cover of the summer edition of Fishing Lines! Photos can be anything that relates to recreational fishing in Victoria e.g. your top catch, photos with your family or your mates, whatever so long as it’s ‘fishy’. Please email your entry to --e-mail address hidden-- by Monday 10 August.

Please note that VRFish reserves the right to use any image submitted for inclusion in its magazine, newsletter or website as it deems fit.

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