Victoria Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
2017 Duck Season Announced
Victor P Taffa
Andrews Government has today announced arrangements for the 2017 duck hunting season.
“Duck season is a customary trip away for many families and is an important economic contributor to the rural economy, bringing 26,000 licensed duck hunters to small towns and regional centres across the state.” Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford said.
Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford confirmed that the season will commence on Saturday 18 March, and will last 12 weeks, closing on Monday 12 June.
“Environmental conditions, waterfowl habitat availability, duck population distribution and abundance are reviewed each year to ensure hunting continues to be a sustainable recreation for future generations.”
“Hunters are reminded to act safely and responsibly at all times while hunting this year.” Ms. Pulford said.
Bag limit, as per standing regulations, will remain at 10 birds per person per day. The hunting of the Bluewinged Shoveler, however, will be prohibited due to the low numbers of the species.
Settings for the 2017 duck season reflect the expert advice provided by the Game Management Authority (GMA) based on extensive habitat and waterbird surveys conducted across eastern Australia.
“The Government has made this decision because we take seriously the long term environmental impacts of hunting on bird populations and other native wildlife, as well as the future sustainability of the industry.” Minister for Environment Lily D’Ambrosio said.
Surveys found that last winter’s rainfall has resulted in a significant increase in waterbird breeding and extensive and widespread habitat availability. This has allowed game ducks to breed for a second time and disperse widely across the landscape.
GMA and partner compliance agencies, including DELWP, DEDJTR, Parks Victoria and Victoria Police will be out in force in 2017 to ensure compliance with all hunting and public safety laws.
GMA will continue to monitor conditions in the lead up to and during the season. Where warranted, wetlands are able to be closed to hunting on the advice of the GMA to protect significant concentrations of endangered waterbirds.
Details of the 2017 duck season, including any wetland closures, will be regularly updated on the GMA website and the Game Hunting Victoria smartphone app. The Government recently launched its Sustainable Hunting Action Plan which includes funding for the implementation of a new Waterfowl Conservation Harvest Model.
This new modelling will provide an even stronger scientific and evidence-based approach to the sustainable management of Victoria’s game duck populations in future years.
DELWP (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning)
DEDJTR (Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources)