It raises a number of issues:
• Increase recreational fisher involvement in decision making which affects them
• Ensure recreational fishing representation is respected and acknowledged by the community and government
• Investigate increasing government funding to recreational fishing or alternatively investigate additional funding or information from recreational fishers themselves, including a recreational fishing licence, a compulsory free registration system and/or a voluntary recreational fishing fund
• Use of data to prioritise funding to popular recreational fishing facilities
• Increase collaboration amongst the recreational fishing sector and build partnerships with other sectors
• Better quantifying the value of the recreational sector
• Establish sustainability goals for key recreational species
• Increase availability of recreational fishing information
• Stronger focus on citizen science
• Increase awareness of responsible recreational fishing habits
• Increased transparency in funds derived from recreational fishers (eg rock lobster pot licences)
Independent MRFAC Chair Sharon Starick said the draft strategic plan has drawn upon the feedback from more than 4,000 survey responses to the MRFAC recreational fishing priorities survey and significant input from MRFAC members.
“The aim of the Recreational Fishing Strategy for SA is to identify the interests and key strategic needs of the recreational fishing community for the next three years,” Ms Starick said.
“We want to ensure the plan addresses the major challenges recreational fishers see coming over the horizon.
“The recreational fishing community is very diverse from children through to seniors with different cultural backgrounds, interests and needs, so that results in a broad range of views and perspectives.
“That’s why we need to hear from recreational fishers about what they want for the future.
“With an estimated 277,000 recreational fishers, we encourage everyone to read this draft plan and let us know their thoughts. We really want to hear from as many people as possible.
“This is a draft strategy. After hearing from recreational fishers, we will consider all the feedback before providing the final report to the Minister later this year.”
The draft strategic plan can be read in full on the MRFAC website with the consultation open until 30 April 2021.