WA AFTA Ambassador Tim Farnell reports that on Thursday, 14th September, WARFFA, Tackle Trade, and Charter Boat Industries members visited State Parliament to watch Liberal party opposition leader Libby Mettam present our industry’s grievances to Fisheries Minister Don Punch on the recent increased Demersal fishing bans.
This decision has directly impacted both industries, with three family-owned independent tackle stores now closed and other stores with over 50% reduced trade, and up to 80% of charter boats facing a very uncertain future with zero tags allocated to their businesses.
We stand united to have this decision IMMEDIATELY reviewed. More than ever, people’s livelihoods are at stake; small family businesses ARE ON THE BRINK.
750,000 plus recreational anglers in our state, they go on charter boat trips, an industry worth $110m, they visit regional coastal towns, they spend $2.4B each and every year into our state’s economy, it’s our state social fabric to enjoy catching a fish with our families and cooking up a feed!
The Perth Boat Show was held the following weekend, and there was plenty of discussion over the Government’s poor performance in educating the new rule changes and a complete lack of engagement with recreational fishers and industry stakeholders on this crucial issue.
The WA industry has done its best to educate anglers on the new rules and promote different angling targets such as whiting, squid and Tuna, which has helped keep business ticking but is a long way off, making up for demersal sales. Some stores are over 50% down over the closure periods.
In better news, DPIRD will be releasing 120,000 brown and rainbow trout in the coming months, offering some fantastic opportunities to target these highly sought-after freshwater species, which continue to gain more popularity amongst anglers, and 11,000 yellowtail kingfish were released into Cockburn Sound. This stocking program run by DPIRD will help boost the numbers of these fantastic sportfish.
- Share our posts! This keeps it out in the media’s eye and, therefore in the governments!
- Continue to, OR Write another letter/email to your local MP, the Minister, and the Premier Cook, and let them know how the new ban has impacted your business and your time on the water.
- Where possible, if we have an opportunity to get in front of the media or attend Parliament, show up, and show support, NUMBERS are the key!
Continue to promote the key messages, nothing has changed here.
- WA HAS 750,000 PLUS RECREATIONAL FISHERS, AND FISHING PLAYS A HUGE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ROLE IN OUR COMMUNITY
- WE CARE ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY, RECREATIONAL FISHING, AND OUR INDUSTRY, DEPENDS ON IT
- BREEDING PROTECTION IS KEY BUT MUST BE FROM ALL SECTORS
- RECREATIONAL FISHING IS WORTH $2.4 BILLION ANNUALLY TO THE WA ECONOMY, ‘WE NEED TO ENSURE THE BEST USE OF THE RESOURCE FOR THE WA COMMUNITY AND ECONOMY’
- THE STOCKS ARE RECOVERING, DPIRDS SCIENCE SAYS SO.
- REGIONAL COASTAL TOWNS DEPEND ON FISHING TOURISM, AND CURRENT PROPOSALS WILL DESTROY SMALL BUSINESS AND 1000’S OF JOBS STATEWIDE
- WE ASK THE STATE GOVERNMENT TO RECONSIDER ITS CURRENT PROPOSALS, TO ENSURE AN OUTCOME THAT LOOKS AFTER THE FISH WITHOUT THE DEVASTATING SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS
The Minister has met the Sustainability part, by reducing the catch by 50% to 375T, it’s now time to ensure that 375T is allocated to ensure the ‘Best use’ of the resource for the WA Community and Economy. Just to re-cap, currently, the allocation is
115T to the Recs, 20T to Charter, and 240T to the commercial sector. WARFFA will continue to push for better allocation of this WA community-owned resource.
With the opening up of the Demersal season for just the 2 weeks of school holidays, we are baffled why DPIRD and the Minister think this is the best way to manage this fishery. We are keen for feedback on how this 2-week opening was received by your customers, and also any feedback from them in general on new rules and regulations.
I will also advise you all to follow CH7 regional news WA on FB, they seem to cover our issues better than the local news, and there have been plenty of media reports in the last week.
Other issues that are currently affecting our Industry are the South Coast Marine Park issues, which threaten to lock out not only Recs but Commercial fishers from key fishing areas on the South Coast. RECFISHWEST has been involved heavily behind the scenes and has done a fantastic job to ensure Rec Anglers have a voice in this issue. The learn more, please click below:
Marmion Marine Park extension plans will have huge impacts on rec fishers, again RFW is battling away in the background, to read more click below:
Wind farm proposals off the Bunbury Coast are also an issue that is still not in the public eye as yet, but is ticking away in the background, to get up to date click below:
The Shire of Gingin is proposing banning 4wding on some popular local beaches between Moore River and Lancelin, this will have huge impacts on those small coastal towns and restrict access to some exceptional beach fishing locations, WARFFA will be watching this one closely.
I urge anyone that doesn’t frequent the RecFishWest page or is not a member, to sign up and keep up to date on what’s happening in our angling community. There is plenty happening and we all must play our part to ensure our industry has a voice, but we must stand united and work together.