In Agriculture

Western Australia Minister for Fisheries Norman Moore

Minister Reminds Fishers’ New Boat Fishing Licence Laws Take Effect March 2

Victor P Taffa

Western Australia Minister for Fisheries Norman Moore has reminded recreational fishers they will need a new type of licence if they fish from a powered vessel anywhere in Western Australia after Monday March 2 2010.

The new recreational fishing from a boat licence (RFBL), which was announced in October as part of a raft of recreational fishing measures, is designed to help protect the State’s fragile fish stocks and will cost $30 annually.

“For less than 60 cents per week this licence will help ensure better monitoring and management of WA’s fisheries.” Mr. Moore said.

“It will also help establish an invaluable database of boat-based recreational fishers, which can help us more accurately estimate the number of people fishing, where they are fishing and what they are catching.”

The Minister said the new RFBL would provide a tool to estimate recreational catches on a State-wide basis.

“This is the first time information will be available on this scale on an ongoing basis, not only for Perth but regional areas too.” Mr. Moore said.

“In some areas, fishing is only undertaken on a recreational basis and it’s vital we have good information on what they are catching, to assist in evaluating the success of various management strategies carried out by the Department of Fisheries.”

More than 50,000 Western Australians already take out licences for specific activities such as recreational lobster, marron and abalone fishing as well as net and freshwater fishing.

Mr. Moore said those who took out a RFBL would be investing in protecting the future quality of recreational fishing.

“Funds from the new licence fee will be spent solely on initiatives relating to recreational fishing.” Mr. Moore said.

The Minister said recreational fishers using a powered boat anywhere in the State would need an RFBL.

The licence was not a requirement if people fished from a kayak, dinghy or other vessel without a motor.

Mr. Moore stressed that unlicensed fishers were still to be entitled to fish from a boat, provided they were in the company of someone holding a valid licence and they only fished within that licence holder’s bag limit.

From Tuesday March 2, licences may be obtained from Australia Post outlets and online from the department’s website, as well as the Department of Fisheries offices.

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