Western Australia Minister for Fisheries Norman Moore
State Budget 2010-11: Recreational Fishing Nets A Spending Boost
Victor P Taffa
The State Government has helped ensure the sustainability of Western Australia’s fisheries by boosting the Department of Fisheries’ spending to $62.7 Million.
The aggregate spending, which rose from $59.9 Million in 2009-10, includes an additional $2 Million to help carry out a range of compliance, education and other recreational fishing initiatives.
Fisheries Minister Norman Moore said the funds would help employ an additional 13 Fisheries and Marine Officers (FMOs), to boost the ranks of the State’s compliance officers.
“From July this year, the additional FMOs will give the Fisheries Department scope to establish an additional six land-based mobile patrols, equipped to go on extended trips to remote areas.” Mr. Moore said.
“As well as reaching ‘secret spots’ along WA’s coast, the mobile patrols will have a role in educating fishers about sustainability rules and reinforce the fish for the future message.”
The Minister said the introduction of a new recreational fishing licence structure, including the new boat fishing licence taken up by more than 48,000 recreational fishers (as at April 19), would provide additional funding for recreational fishing.
“It is estimated recreational licences will raise $4.9 Million in 2010-11.” the Minister said.
“All funds raised by the new licensing regime will only be spent on rec-fishing initiatives, with input from stakeholders representing recreational fishers.”
Mr. Moore said an annual allocation of about $1.5 Million was budgeted from 2011-12 to establish a marine park in Camden Sound, North of Broome, and ensure adequate compliance research and monitoring programs were in place to protect the marine environment.
“Department of Fisheries research activities will focus on baseline research and ongoing monitoring in and around the sanctuary zones.” the Minister said.
The Minister said $4 Million of the Budget announced today would help secure WA’s offshore fisheries compliance through the building of a new vessel, to replace the department’s ageing long-range patrol boat, the PV Walcott.
“Of the two offshore patrol vessels currently in operation, the PV Walcott was purpose-built to berth additional personnel, operate in rough seas and remote areas, and to undertake extended patrols in the State’s North.” Mr. Moore said.
“It is important to replace the vessel by 2013, to assist the effectiveness of the department in keeping WA’s fisheries sustainable.”