Minister Addresses Fishing Conference On Port Phillip Bay Licence Fee Grants

Minister Addresses Fishing Conference On Port Phillip Bay Licence Fee Grants

Victoria Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford

Port Phillip Bay Fishers Gather To Celebrate Bay Fishing

Victor P Taffa

Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford today welcomed key fishing industry representatives and recreational anglers to the first Port Phillip Bay Conference in Altona.

The conference provided an opportunity to hear fisheries experts talk about the current progress towards the removal of commercial net fishing and the health of key fish species in Port Phillip Bay.

“Target 1 Million continues to grow recreational fishing in Victoria, creating jobs, supporting local businesses and strengthening our rural and regional communities by giving families better opportunities to spend quality time together outdoors.” Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford said.

“The removal of 33 of the 43 net fishers from the bay means 87 % of the previous catch of targeted species will now be available for the whole family to chase.”

Ms. Pulford also announced the 17 successful recipients of Recreational Fishing Licence fee large grants worth over $1.1 Million, including:

  • More than $76,000 for a three year tagging program to understand the movements of Victorian King George whiting to their spawning areas
  • $147,000 to create living shellfish reefs and rebuild fish habitat in Port Phillip Bay
  • $25,000 for a flathead stock enhancement study to assess the feasibility of hatchery production of flathead

These projects across Victoria range from habitat improvement in Port Phillip Bay to infrastructure improvements such as new fish cleaning tables and access improvements.

Presentations at the conference explored new developments in snapper, kingfish and southern calamari research and the recent habitat improvement efforts in the bay.

Attendees also heard from passionate recreational fishing advocate, Rex Hunt, and had the opportunity to participate in a panel to discuss the future of recreational fishing in the bay.

The removal of commercial net fishers from the bay is a key commitment under the Andrews Government’s $46 Million Target 1 Million plan for recreational fishing, which aims to get more Victorians fishing more often.

The State Government has now removed 33 of 43 commercial net fishers from the bay. The remaining 10 fishers continue to fish under a strict catch limit, utilising existing fishing methods including nets.