BETTER FISHING FOR EVERYONE
RECREATIONAL FISHING ELECTION PRIORITIES
TARFish is the peak body for recreational sea fishers in Tasmania.
We have prepared our Better Fishing for Everyone priorities for the Tasmanian State Election on 1 May 2021. We will proactively represent recreational fishers with Tasmania’s political parties in the lead up to the election to secure commitments that will deliver Better Fishing For Everyone.
TARFish does not support a general salt-water rod and line fishing licence or other broad-based fee on recreational sea fishing.
On behalf of Tasmania’s recreational fishers we ask Tasmania’s political parties to demonstrate their support for the following priorities:
1. BETTER BOAT RAMPS AND PARKING, MORE ACCESSIBLE FISHING
• Develop an infrastructure strategy jointly with Marine and Safety Tasmania, Department of Fisheries, Local Government and TARFish.
Invest $3m over 4 years in expansion and upgrades of boat ramps and parking around Tasmania
• Establish a recreational fishing infrastructure fund managed jointly by Marine and Safety Tasmania, Department of Fisheries, and Local Government to oversee and implement infrastructure upgrades and new infrastructure state-wide.
Invest $3.5m in programs and infrastructure so that those that want to go fishing can go fishing safely.
- Develop an All Tasmanians Recreational Sea Fishing Access Strategy
- Invest $3m over 4 years into infrastructure that makes it easier for people to go fishing including;
- Public toilets at boat ramps and jetties to support families to fish
- All-ability access fishing platforms and jetties
- Support Tasmanians to keep fishing by;
- Changing group fishing rules for licensed fisheries (e.g. scallops and rock lobster) so that older and mobility impaired Tasmanians (and others) can continue to participate
- A focussed participation program to support older Tasmanians to keep fishing
2. MORE FISH, BETTER FISHING
Invest $1m over 4 years to support satisfying fishing experiences by;
- Develop a resource sharing policy and implement formal resource sharing arrangements that protects recreational fisher access to key species including; rock lobster, scallop, and abalone
- Invest $750k in a Recovery Plan for Flathead
- No further cuts and restrictions to rock lobster fishers
- Fix rock lobster access on the East Coast:
- Guarantee recreational rock lobster fishers 90 tonnes or 50% of Total Allowable Catch
- No further cuts to individual bag, possession limits or season length
- Recreational rock lobster only areas (spatial/temporal)
- Invest $250k for 2 new FAD’s, develop a FAD code of conduct and implement a commercial fishing exclusion zone around FAD’s
- Protect recreational fisher access to emerging species including snapper, King George Whiting and king fish.
3. EMPOWER RECREATIONAL FISHERS
$800k over 4 years for the recreational fishing sector to coordinate and deliver:
- a Flathead Fisher education program ($350 over 2 years) via a partnership between TARFish and IMAS
- Fund a 4-year Fisher Stewardship Program to improve best practice and fish welfare
- Support Tasmania’s participation in the nation-wide Gone Fishing Day each year.
- Support a TARFish-led mental health program for recreational fishers
- More resources to support fisher education and policing including improved signage and communication where fishing happens
- Assist TARFish to improve recreational sea fisher education and engagement using social media and other technology
4. HEALTHY HABITATS
Take action on threats to fish abundance and the marine environment including:
- Preventing further expansion of the long-spined sea urchin (centrostephanus)
- Prioritising kelp restoration
- Reducing marine debris, particularly from aquaculture operations
5. SUPPORT A STRONGER VOICE FOR RECREATIONAL FISHERS
Invest $1m over 4 years to support increased fisher participation in recreational fisheries management:
- Support TARFish to provide a single and independent voice of the fishing sector to Government through guaranteed base funding of $1m over 4 years
- Restructure the Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee (RecFAC) so more recreational fishers can participate
- Support TARFish to undertake an organisational renewal project that facilitates fisher representative elections in 2022-23
6. VALUE RECREATIONAL FISHERS AND THE TASMANIAN COMMUNITY
Guarantee independent and ongoing funding for the sector without imposing a salt-water rod and line fishing licence or other broad-based fee on recreational sea fishing:
- Transparent reporting on expenditure and return to recreational fishers from licence fees and the ability of recreational fishers to have input into their expenditure once administration fees are removed.
- Establish a Recreational Fishing Trust Account administered by an independent Board with funds to be used for; research, improving sustainability and promoting policies and programs that support recreational fishing and to provide base funding for the peak body and ensure its independence.
- Fund the Recreational Fishing Trust Account from new or existing commercial fishing resource royalties and from an aquaculture expansion offset levy with a proportion guaranteed to support recreational fishing so that recreational fishers become shareholders in our shared marine estate.
- Develop and implement a 10-year recreational sea fishing strategy
- Protect recreational fishing access and recreational fishing values in legislation
- Research that considers; the socio-economic value of recreational fishing, the aspirations of recreational fishers regarding the fishery being investigated, regionality and type of activity; and specific research to understand recreational fishing sectors.