“QLD Minister responsible for recreational fishing, The Hon Mark Furner, has launched the “Let’s Fish QLD” media campaign.”

The Hon Bob Baldwin

AFTA Independant Chair

AFTA Chairs Report October 2021

It is more than welcoming news over the past few days that finally, State Governments are setting out a road map reducing restrictions and opening up for trade.   As an industry sector, we have definitely had our resolve tested with the repeated openings than closings and now finally the prospect of freely trading in the coming months (subject to vaccination certificates). Let’s hope this is the final outcome and we can all get back to running our business’s ….. throughout Australia.

In saying that, AFTA has been monitoring the ABS Import Data Statistics. While it only represents imported products across a select range, not all products, the numbers have shown a steady return to normal pre COVID levels.  This is indicative of an across the board revival; that being said, importers, I have spoken to have said that supply shortages from overseas have become their most significant issue, particularly in the high-end gear market.


AFTA is constantly engaged with Ministers at both the state and commonwealth level promoting recreational fishing and highlighting the concerns raised by our members.

Last week AFTA had a dialogue with The Hon Jon Duniam, Federal Minister for recreational fishing, discussing what policy the Coalition will put forward to the next election (May 2022). This will be followed up with the Minister addressing the AFTA Board shortly.

We are also in the process of setting up discussions with Shadow Minister Julie Collins and will reach out to all other parties and independents before Christmas.  Members wishing to contribute should send their policy ideas ASAP. (Email AFTA here

In NSW, AFTA has been at the table with the NSW Minister, The Hon Adam Marshall MP & DPI Fisheries Deputy Director Sean Sloan, discussing the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTAA) and the Animal Welfare Reform Discussion Paper since day one. Click here for the DPI Animal Welfare Reform Discussion Paper. 

This is not to be confused with the Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTAA) Private Members Bill being put forward by The Hon Emma Hurst, Animal Justice Party, which will never come to a vote as the Government will block the passage of that Bill.

Minister Marshall has advised that the new legislation will not impact fishing, which is clarified in the Discussion Paper as a defence outlined in the first dot point on page 18.  This means that whatever recreational fishers can do today, they will be able to continue to do once the proposed new legislation passes. The live baiting defence is listed as the last dot point on page 18 of the Discussion Paper.

AFTA is holding its next meeting with Minster Marshall this week to ensure these protections are in place for recreational fishers and to discuss all recreational fishing policies going forward.  AFTA will review and comment on the draft legislation when it is published in the coming months.

Qld Minister responsible for recreational fishing, The Hon Mark Furner, has launched the “Let’s Fish QLD” media campaign.   AFTA received a QLD Rec Fishing grant to produce this series of videos, but to achieve maximum market penetration, we need you to be a part of the team in promoting, publishing & sharing through your own networks.  Please click here to download and together let’s grow your business.

After meeting with Minister Furner on 22 July and subsequent departmental meetings, we are still awaiting the draft paper release on the Spanish Mackerel fishery.  Our next meeting has been postponed a few times over the past month as the Minister has been reviewing the draft paper before its release.

AFTA will keep you informed on our progress, on Spanish Mackerel, but progress on the “legal fillet length -v- legal species length” discussions as a well as our advocating on resource sharing with the commercial sector across a range of species, including the winner takes all approach with Black Jewfish.

We are still waiting for SA Minister David Basham MP to launch the “Let’s Fish SA” videos, which was largely funded through a SA Government Grant.  If you are South Australian, please make sure you go online to vote ASAP for the Ministerial Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee (MRFAC).  We need strong voices on this committee.