Take One Tuna Bag Limit Off The Table

VRFish, the peak body representing recreational fishers in Victoria is requesting the Commonwealth Government to withdraw an option to cut the Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT) bag limit down from 2 to 1.

Confirmation that a reduction of the recreational bag limit of SBT from 2 down to 1 was one option being discussed at the Commonwealth and State Government level, has left fishers perplexed and angered, overwhelming VRFish with calls of concern.

VRFish Chairman, Mr Rob Loats said “Our Victorian fishers are committed to fishing sustainably and rebuilding fish stocks but talk of reducing our bag limit by half while increasing commercial quota is totally unjustified’”.

Mr. Loats said, “A one bag limit option needs to be scrapped.”

“It will be impossible to have meaningful discussions and productive engagement with our sector while a one bag limit remains an option at negotiations between the Commonwealth and States,” he said.

The Commonwealth Government is currently undertaking a national economic survey of the SBT recreational fishery and planning a catch and effort survey to be rolled out in December. Last month, a new fisher stewardship program called ‘Tuna Champions’ was launched.

“We support all these important initiatives and want to work with the State and Commonwealth Governments to secure a bright future for a fantastic fishery that has developed over the last decade,” said Mr. Loats.

“At the moment it appears the Commonwealth have put the cart before the horse,” said Mr. Loats.

According to an economic study in 2012, the SBT recreational fishery is estimated to contribute as much as $9 million to Portland’s economy alone.

Fishers can refer to VRFish’s SBT policy on its website and are encouraged to adopt best practice through following the tuna code of conduct.

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