Have your say to support Victoria's growing and sustainable fishing sectors

The Victorian Fisheries Regulations 2009 are due to sunset on 1 February 2020.  The Victorian Government is now seeking your feedback on the proposed changes to our regulations.

Over the last 18 months, the Department of Transport (DOT) and the Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) have been reviewing the regulations which manage fishing in Victoria, in consultation with key stakeholders. This review is a mandatory requirement due to the 10-year life cycle of regulations in Victoria.

As part of the remaking of the regulations, a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) has been prepared for comment.

There are some important changes proposed that will benefit recreational fishing in Victoria. These include changes to size and bag limits for some species and permitting additional types of equipment that can be used. For example, we are supporting new measures to protect native fish such as river blackfish that will ensure these populations are sustainable for future generations to enjoy.

The Victorian Government is also working hard to improve opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons in recreational fishing, and the proposed regulations will provide an exemption from the requirement to purchase and hold a recreational fishing licence. This will support those where a legal right is not already recognized, while maintaining the same bag limits and other restrictions that apply to licensed recreational fishers.

A number of important changes are also proposed to grow our commercial fisheries and to transition to world class fisheries management technology. These include:

  • establishing three fisheries for pipi, octopus and banded morwong, with new licence classes that will encourage development, stewardship and investment for these species,
  • transitioning to modern and efficient reporting arrangements through use of electronic reporting of catch and effort and, in the case of abalone, catch disposal information, and
  • creating more efficient enforcement operations by expanding use of vessel monitoring systems, while simultaneously removing the need for those fishers to report prior to fishing or landing

All submissions in relation to the proposed Regulations will be considered before the Minister for Fishing and Boating makes a final decision on whether to proceed with the proposed Regulations.

Interested industry stakeholders and the community can obtain the Regulatory Impact Statement including further information on the proposed changes on the internet on DoT’s ‘Get Involved’ website.

Comments can also be submitted via the 'Get Involved' website, or emailed to fisheries.regulations2019@transport.vic.gov.au.   All comments must be received by no later than 5:00 pm on 29 October 2019.

Please note that submissions may be published on the DoT website, unless the submission clearly indicates it is confidential. Your comments will provide valuable information and perspectives that will help shape and improve the regulations.

If you require further information, please contact Mr Scott Lawrence, Manager Fisheries Policy of the Department of Transport on telephone (03) 8392 6854.