AFTA represents our members’ interests in ensuring a sustainable fishery that doesn’t limit an individual’s participation.

The Hon Bob Baldwin

AFTA Independant Chair

AFTA Chairs Report April 2021

AFTA Trade Show 2021 ~ 8th-10th July ~

Time is flying by and it is time to make your bookings to attend the AFTA Trade Show.

As previously advised the AFTA Trade Show has been successful in being granted “Approved Event” status under the federal “Business Events Grants” program. There have also been updated changes (11 March) to the “Business Events Grant Package” that will benefit many of those attending the AFTA Trade Show.

The Business Events Grants program supports business event delegates and exhibitors by providing grants to meet up to 50 per cent of costs incurred in participating at pre-approved business events. Applications are to be submitted via the Business Grants Hub and whilst they closed on 30 March 2021, applications may re-open in April 2021, or until all funding has been allocated. It is critical you read the guidelines to see how eligible deductions apply to your business.

The key point is the minimum grant amount will be reduced to $5,000 (from $10,000) to allow smaller businesses the opportunity to apply, there is an increase in the number of delegates covered by the grant, an increase in the sponsorship cap and that applications for the grant will be extended to 30 June 2021.

What does this mean for you?  For any exhibitors or attendee who spends more than $10,000 in eligible expenses, they can claim back 50% of the approved costs in attending or exhibiting at Trade Show.  Please note that while AFTA is an approved Business Event, individuals must submit their own claim for funds, citing AFTA as the event.



The election campaign in Tasmania is now in full swing with voters going to the booths on 1 May.   AFTA have contacted the Liberal Government,  the Labor Opposition and the Shooters, Fishers & Farmers Party for their policy commitments to Recreational Fishing.

Their responses to date have been published as submitted on the AFTA website.  If you’re from Tasmania, please help to distribute the information so Recreational Fishers can make an informed decision on what is in their best interest.

AFTA congratulate TARFish CEO, Jane Gallichan on “The Better Fishing for Everyone” priority statement (read here), which is based on feedback from recreational fishers, from the State Government’s “For a Better Fishing Future” survey of over 2,300 recreational fishers and from TARFish’s own position statements and Board expertise.


AFTA is currently making representations to the Qld Minister for Fisheries, The Hon Mark Furner to work towards addressing the following issues:

  • The Black Jewfish closures impact recreational fishers and proper resource sharing.
  • Filleting of fish -v- keeping of whole fish whilst at sea and size limits.
  • Implementing a “No Catch” rule as against a “No Target” rule

South Australia

South Australian Director, Alicia Bolitho has done an outstanding  job representing AFTA on the Minister’s Recreational Fishing Advisory Council (MRFAC) to the Snapper MAC with:

Quote from Minister David Basham: Consistent with the Snapper MAC recommendation, I approved the recommended total allowable recreational catch (TARC) from July to October and adopted the recommended total allowable recreational catch (TARC) from July to October and adopted the recommendation to reduce the recreational daily bag limit to one and daily boat limit to three. This will allow more recreational fishers to share the opportunity to fish for Snapper in the South East

Future Election Time-Tables:

Fixed Dates:

South Australia:            19 March 2022

Victoria:                          26 November 2022

NSW:                               25 March 2023

Flexible Dates:

Federal Election:          On or before 21 May 2022 (half-Senate)
On or before 3 September 2022 (House of Representatives)

“Let’s Fish” social media campaign

The “Let’s Fish” video clip production for South Australia and Queensland is nearing completion with individually tailored media programs supported by substantial grants from each Government.

Once the final product is released, we would encourage all AFTA Members to help in promotion, after all the key objective is to have more people engaged in recfishing.  AFTA will be supporting the campaigns with financial support in Social Media distribution.

Policy Development

AFTA is embarking on a Policy Development program to expand on our policies to maintain the sustainability of recreational fishing and the businesses involved in it.  Our current policy direction is available at

AFTA is a national Association with one clear agenda; “AFTA represents our members’ interests in ensuring a sustainable fishery that doesn’t limit an individual’s participation.”  AFTA will always deal transparently, ethically, openly & inclusively with all bodies to ensure the best outcome for the Recreational Fishing industry and anglers alike.

AFTA is dedicated to ensuring a strong future for recreational fishing and the industry that supports it by advocating on behalf of our members on all key issues, including marine parks, impacts of commercial fishing, restrictive access. & business-related issued

AFTA believes that the two most critical questions for every policy:

  1. Does it protect fishing’s future?
  2. Does it reduce participation?

If you wish to contribute to the ongoing policy development of your Association, please send your input to

Current policy issues under further development are:

·         Species Resource Sharing

As stated in last month’s report, “Resource Sharing” between the commercial and recreational sectors is a critical issue across all species and in all states.  The principle of “Resource Sharing” in fisheries management is not a “first in – best dressed” scenario as is currently happening with the Black Jewfish closure in Queensland and Snapper in South Australia, it is about a “fair share” for recreational and indigenous fishers.

Recreational fishing quotas are set by “bag limits” and any species should not be shut down just because the commercial sector has reached its quota. 

·         Marine Parks

Whilst the Commonwealth Marine park issue has settled down, there is still a lot of work to be done with the State Marine Parks.  In NSW we are awaiting the outcome of the long-overdue review of the Great Lakes/Port Stephens Marine Park.

·         Sustainability both for Fish and Businesses

AFTA is committed to protecting our industry and ensuring it is not only sustainable but growing.

Don’t be Alarmed or Surprised

As I begin travelling around the countryside again now COVID restrictions are being eased (with one of my other business hats on) I am dropping in at random to meet with both AFTA members and non-members.  The purpose, besides introducing myself, is to get the latest on the ground feeling of where our industry is currently at.  So, if I happen to drop in for a chat (coffee – black, strong please 😃) I look forward to meeting you and your staff.

Tight lines and look forward to seeing you all at the AFTA Show!!