Victoria welcomes 14 new Fisheries Officers

The Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) has welcomed 14 new Fisheries Officers to the ranks today at their official graduation ceremony in Queenscliff.

VFA CEO, Travis Dowling, said the officers had completed a ten-week intensive training program and would now be widely deployed to 11 stations across the state.

There will be four new officers at our Altona station and one each at Warrnambool, Apollo Bay, Queenscliff, Bendigo, Snobs Creek, Mornington, Yarram, Traralgon, Lakes Entrance and Mallacoota.

The 14 new officers join an experienced state-wide team who are the vital front line in our efforts to ensure the sustainability of Victoria’s fish stocks.

“The appointment of 14 new Fisheries Officers brings the team looking after our fisheries up to full strength, which is great news for all sectors and those who love eating fresh seafood,” Mr Dowling said.

“Congratulations and welcome to the new officers who now join the ranks, right across the state, at one of the busiest times of the year for the VFA.”

These new officers have learned from the best during their training, covering everything from small boat handling to testifying in court.

Their training has been a comprehensive program to prepare them for their role as education and enforcement authorised officers with the VFA.

The recruitment program began in May this year when 781 applications were received.

The shortlisted applicants went through a competitive process involving psychometric testing, first round telephone interviews, face to face interviews and a scenario-based assessment centre.

Thorough training has included legal, defensive driving, community education, fisheries management, and an understanding of recreational and commercial fisheries, both inland and marine.

The officers will also help deliver the State Government’s Target One Million plan for recreational fishing, which aims to grow participation to one million anglers by 2020.

They will assist in releases of trout and native fish grown at the VFA’s Snobs Creek hatchery, attend community events to promote sustainable fishing, and visit angling clubs to talk about their work and identify opportunities to improve fishing and angler access.