AFTA Chair Bob Baldwin met with Minister Moriarty (6/3/24) to discuss the banning of the Eastern Blue Groper for recreational fishers and the broader impact on the recreational fishing industry in NSW.

Whilst AFTA fully supports the closure of any fishery when there is scientific evidence to show that this is the only way to sustain the fishery.  AFTA do not support the closure of any fishery without clear scientific evidence to support the closure.

AFTA supported the existing spearfishing ban on Eastern Blue Groper introduced in 1969, and from commercial fishing since 1980. AFTA would support stronger penalties for those who knowingly take these iconic fish, but the total ban and penalties should not have been expanded to include recreational fishers.

Minister Moriarty will now consult over the next 12 months and review her decision, AFTA has requested a seat at the table for these decision making discussions, with that AFTA members input will be critical to the future outcome.