Media Release


The Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA) has joined with the FutureFish Foundation and the one million recreational fishers across Victoria in absolute disbelief with the Victorian Government’s decision to ban recreational fishing across the state.

Victoria once held up as the “benchmark state” for recreational fishers has now lost its mantle.

David Kramer, Director – Futurefish Foundation said: “All Victorians are confused as to why tennis, kayaking, surf skiing are deemed acceptable exercise and yet recreational fishing is not when all other Australian states provide an exemption for recreational fishing under schedules of “obtaining food” and “exercise”.

AFTA & Futurefish agree that isolation measures help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but recreational fishing helps deal with personal issues of mental health and lack of exercise resulting from self-isolation.

AFTA Chair, Bob Baldwin said  “there is less risk of infection from venturing out to go fishing than having to deal with crowds in shopping centres when conducted in accord with 1.5m social distancing, gatherings of no more than 2 people (excepting families under the one roof) and stay within local area rules are effective, that is why all other states allow recreational fishing.”

David Kramer, Director – Futurefish Foundation has written to Premier Daniel Andrews with proposed rules for recreational fishing in Victoria:

  1. If you don’t need to go fishing, then stay at home. If it is your only outlet for mental health benefits, then you must abide by these strict rules.
  2. If you live in Regional Victoria, it is okay for you to go fishing in your local waterway but you must abide by the strict social distancing and gathering rules.
  3. If you are fishing solo, you should always let someone know where you are going and when you will be home. That is a must at any time, but particularly important now.
  4. For Port Phillip Bay and Western Port. Because these are heavily populated areas, we cannot put people at risk through fishing. That is why the rules are a bit tougher.
  5. All fishing from a boat on Port Phillip Bay and Western Port must be within the hours of sunrise and sunset. You must be back at the ramp and on the road home prior to sunset.
  6. You may only fish with immediate family members, members of your household or as a couple if you and your partner don’t live together. Fishing just with a mate is not allowed. It’s too risky.
  7. Fishing from piers in Port Phillip Bay and Western Port is banned. The potential for breaking the gathering rules is just too great by consequence of fishing being allowed.
  8. Fishing from the shoreline is allowed within the Port Phillip Bay and Western Port regions, but you must abide by the strict social distancing and gathering rules.
  9. Fishing from the banks of a river is allowed within the Port Phillip Bay and Western Port regions, but you must abide by the strict social distancing and gathering rules.

“AFTA & the Future Fish Foundation call on the Victorian Government to immediately allow recreational fishing in Victoria, subject to the above guide-lines“


For further comment:

The Hon. Bob Baldwin                                               David Kramer,
Chair                                                                           Director
Australian Fishing Trade Association                        Futurefish Foundation
Ph: 0419694620                                                          Ph: 0428 170091
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