Whitebait NewsI have looked into your whitebait status query. Here are a few points;
- The last whitebait survey was conducted following the 2008 whitebait season.
- Of the 899 licence holders for the season, there were only 130 respondents to the survey.
- Given the low response rate the survey was inconclusive in estimating any particular trends in the fishery.
- The number of whitebait fishers has remained fairly low averaging around 750 fishers per year this may approach 1000 if the season is favourable or drop to around 500 if the season is poor (usually due to spring floods).
- Given the low participation rate and the regulatory measures of 1kg per day and 10kg per season for each angler in combination with the rotational opening of smaller rivers, the level of fishing is fairly steady and should be sustainable. The fish stocks are further protected by the limited number of rivers open to fishing (12 or 14) each year.
- The IFS has kept a priority on targeting whitebait poaching to further protect stocks, in 2010 a number of joint raids with Tasmania Police focusing on premises were successful leading to charges being laid against known offenders.