Changes Planned To Rules For "Going Fishing'
Tasmanians love going fishing in the sea and are having a say in changes to the management of the scalefish fiishery planned to come into effect later this year.
University of Tasmania surveys reveal that one in three Tasmanians wets a line in marine waters each year, making it one of the State's most popular activities.
A major review of Tasmania's Scalefish Fishery Management Plan has been underway since August last year. The Plan covers both recreational and commercial scalefish fishing.
Primary Industries and Water Minister David Llewellyn said that more than 400 submissions have been received and considered by his department, together with advice from the Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee and the Scalefish Fishery Advisory Committee.
"DPIW now is finalising draft changes to the management Plan. These will be presented at a series of Statewide meetings commencing in mid-March and the public now has a new opportunity to comment on the specific changes being recommended," Mr Llewellyn said.
- Further restricting commercial scalefishing at the popular holiday areas of Port Sorell and Ansons Bay to favour recreational fishing opportunities;
- Banning or introducing a licence for set lines (i.e. longlines and droplines where the fisher sets the line and leaves it unattended);
- Restricting the soak times of gill nets to reduce bycatch;
- Changing size and bag limits for calamari, inshore crab, blue eye trevalla, bastard trumpeter, snapper and yellowtail king fish; and,
- A significant suite of measures to manage striped trumpeter.
The Department of Primary Industries and Water has significant concerns about striped trumpeter stocks.
"The last detected major spawning event for striped trumpeter was more than a decade ago. The risk is that this fishery is riding on the back of a recruitment peak," Mr Llewellyn said.
The changes recommended to address concern with striped trumpeter include halving the recreational personal possession limit to 4 fish, increasing the minimum size limit from 450mm to 500mm, introducing a recreation boat limit of 15 fish, cutting the commercial trip limit from 250kg to 200kg and maintaining a seasonal closure around September and October to protect the optimum spawning period of that species.
Some of the proposals canvassed as potential issues during the first round of public consultation will be progressed through education rather than rule change.
"Matters like wildlife interaction, additional no-netting areas, new shark refuge areas and resource sharing between recreational and commercial fishers need a strategic focus," Mr Llewellyn said.
"That will require further investigation and consultation. I am heartened by the high level of interest and support received during the first consultation period for maintaining the fishery in good shape and for rules which ensure that this happens."
Copies of an information paper outlining the proposed management changes and a schedule of public meetings are available from DPIW at www.fishing.tas.gov.au or by request from 1300 368 550. The comment period runs until the end of April.
During the review DPIW fishery managers will hold statewide public meetings. You are encouraged to attend. All meetings start at 6.30 PM apart from Bicheno.
Flinders Island: Monday, 16 March Whitemark Sports Club
Launceston: Tuesday, 17 March DPIW Prospect Offices, 167 Prospect Rd
Devonport: Wednesday, 18 March DPIW Stoney Rise Government Centre, Rundle Rd
Taranna: Monday, 23 March Tasman Community Centre, Amy St
Triabunna: Tuesday, 24 March Triabunna RSL Club, Vicary St (Buffalo Room)
Bicheno: Wednesday, 25 March Bicheno Meeting Hall, Burgess Street 11am
St Helens Wednesday, 25 March Tidal Waters St Helens Resort, 1 Quail St
Hobart Monday, 30 March Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania Marieville Esplanade, Sandy Bay
King Island Tuesday, 31 March Council Chambers cnr George & Meech Streets
Smithton Wednesday, 1 April Circular Head Community & Recreation Centre cnr Nelson & Grant Streets
Strahan Thursday, 2 April Strahan Golf Club, Meredith St