From the VR Fish Desk
  |  First Published: August 2009

VRFish is committed to representing and advocating the interests of the entire Victorian recreational fishing community.

To ensure this, VRFish consults broadly with the recreational fishing community to represent the views of recreational fishers in an accurate and timely manner to Government and their agencies, as well as communicate effectively with the recreational fishers of Victoria.

As part of this commitment VRFish is conducting a series of 10 ‘Open Houses’ throughout Victoria based on the roll-out of the Fishery Management Plans (FMP’s) across the recognised 10 Catchment Management Areas (CMA’s). The purpose of the Recreational Fishing Open House is to implement strategies and actions defined in the FMPs. VRFish has been charged with the responsibility of implementing key elements of the FMPs, such as; maintain or improve fishing access, facilities and opportunities and promote protection of important fish habitats.

The VRFish North East Open House took place in Wodonga on Saturday August 1 and is the first of many such events planned to run across the state from VRFish. Covering a range of topics relating to the Northeast Fisheries Management Plan; from regulations, grant opportunities, stocking proposals to the Greater Alpine National Park review and more.

The meeting was attended by local fishing club representatives, interested persons from government agencies (Fisheries Victoria, Fisheries NSW, Parks Victoria) and individual fishers. Of concern to many is the ongoing impact of drought to many areas of the state and the regional communities that are affected.

Other issues raised related to perceived inconsistencies between the policies of agencies as well as fishing groups, however as noted, recent events have led to an unprecedented level of collaboration between the various fishing stakeholders, both community and government based. This is paving the way towards further improving and enhancing opportunities for all recreational fishers.

While everybody recognised that the State has been under pressure from more than a decade of drought the fishing community in Victoria and relevant agencies have never been more committed to both the valuable native and trout fisheries of northeast Victoria.

VRFish has produced a paper listing the outcomes of the North East Open House and have placed it on our website at www.vrfish.com.au

VRFish would like to thank everyone who attended; the next Open House is being held on Saturday 7th November in the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Area and will be at Proudfoot’s Boat House in Warrnambool. To assist us in planning please RSVP your name, contact details and number of people attending by emailing --e-mail address hidden-- or calling Samantha Snowden-Finch on 9686 7077.

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.

Hope to see you at the Melbourne 4WD & Fishing Show in September.

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