The AFTA 2022 Show will proceed in August next year, there can be no further excuses from governments in blocking travel.

The Hon Bob Baldwin

Chair, Australian Fishing Trade Association

AFTA Chairs Report

– September 2021


Our resilience will be rewarded!

AFTA members are having varying levels of business success at present depending upon which state you operate from.   The good news is that shortly – Australia wide – just before Christmas, all restrictions should be wound back due to reaching that magic 80% vaccination rate.

How good will be to be able to travel outside your own LGA, your own region, state etc in pursuit of business and our sport?  How good will it be to be able to hold fishing comps, customer events in-store without the expensive and soul-destroying last-minute cancellations

The AFTA 2022 Show will proceed in August next year, there can be no further excuses from governments in blocking travel.

The AFTA 2022 Show is critical for our industry and despite every effort, we have not been able to hold a Trade Show since 2019.  Members need to be able to network face to face, interpersonal engagement is essential.  Only so much can be conveyed over a phone call, email or video conference.

AFTA has been working hard behind the scenes.

With the review of Spanish Mackerel stocks and sustainability by the Qld Government, AFTA board members have been meeting with Fisheries Minister Mark Furner and his Department.   We agree stocks need to be sustainable, but we need to be convinced that the scientific modelling is accurate and that recreational fishers are engaged and actually a part of the solution going forward and not simply parked and disadvantaged for the benefit of the commercial sector. It has been great to have the Boating Industry Association and GFAA at the table working with us. There is strength in numbers.

In NSW, the government Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries is considering legislation for the further protection of animal welfare by seeking to rewrite the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTAA). This change is driven by the Animal Justice Party and that, in itself, should be of concern.

The changes are somewhat troubling and include for the first time the introduction of the Animal Rights agenda as a definition of what cruelty means.

AFTA has been assured by the NSW Government that the legislation will not affect the ability of recreational fishers to use marine creatures as either live or dead baits and this, if the legislative change goes ahead, will be enshrined in the legislation.

AFTA has secured grants from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts program for the ongoing “Let’s Go Fishing” School curriculum-based project where AFTA work hand in hand with the Marine Teachers Association to educate and engage students in fishing.  This funding means that it will now roll out through the 2022 school year and see a new round of educational videos for the teachers & students.

AFTA was also successful in securing funding for the “Let’s Fish NSW” program which will see an intense media campaign promoting engagement in recreational fishing.  The adverts are not targeted to the diehard fishers, but to those who fish maybe once or twice a year, or to those who are thinking about having a go.

We are waiting for Qld Minister Furner to launch the “Let’s Fish Qld” program and for SA Minister Basham to launch the “Let’s Fish SA” program.

These programs are great for our members to use as a tool to engage with potential customers.  After all increased engagement means more sales and that’s good for everyone.

Tight Lines