Objective 4- Governance
Strategy 12: Achieve sustainable resource utilisation
Effective compliance with fisheries regulations is a cornerstone of sustainable fisheries management and is critical to Fisheries Victoria's ability to secure, share and grow the value of the State's fisheries resources for current and future generations. Compliance is built around four key areas: education, operations, intelligence and investigations. Consistent with the Australian Fisheries National Compliance Strategy 2005-2010, Fisheries Victoria delivers a range of fisheries compliance services ranging from detection and apprehension of illegal fishers to providing education and information that maximises voluntary compliance (National Fishing Compliance Committee 2004).
Routine and targeted patrols by Fisheries Officers provide opportunities for communication and engagement with fishers and to discourage illegal activities. Patrolling is complemented by targeted investigations involving covert operations, cross-jurisdictional arrangements (e.g. information sharing agreements with the Australian Taxation Office and the Victorian Police) and the use of technology (e.g. cameras, motion detectors) to disrupt and dismantle organised criminal activities.
Illegal, unregulated and unreported take of fisheries resources continues to be a serious threat to ensuring that Victoria's fisheries resource provide anglers with high-value table fish and sport-fishing opportunities. Fisheries Victoria has in recent years detected increases in the illegal take of native fish and trout using prohibited commercial fishing equipment and illegal sale. Trout are especially vulnerable to fishers during the spawning season and therefore require special protection during this time of the year. Spiny freshwater crayfish are also vulnerable due to their limited range and availability to fishers. Therefore special protection is provided during winter months (i.e. closed seasons).
To discourage illegal commercial take, Murray cod is designated a priority species under fisheries legislation. Priority species status provides higher penalties for persons convicted of illegal commercial take of the species including potential jail terms.
Compliance programs are based on state-wide priorities, resource risk, use of technology and information from community consultation
Department of Primary Industries to continue to monitor and refine its overall fisheries compliance program.
Strategy 13: Educate fishers on sustainable fishing
The Victorian community expects that fishery resources will be managed at sustainable levels. Effective fishery management is achieved by maximising voluntary compliance with the Fisheries Act and Fisheries Regulations and by creating deterrents including penalty infringement notices and prosecutions.
Voluntary compliance is most effectively achieved using education programs that promote shared responsibility for maintaining healthy fisheries for future generations. Fisheries Victoria is committed to fisheries education and to promoting and supporting close and ongoing cooperation with fishers. A key tool is to increase awareness, understanding and acceptance of fisheries regulations, and in the longer term, increase compliance.
Fisheries Victoria uses a number of methods to promote the adoption of sustainable fisheries practices including the distribution of information on fisheries regulations.
Fisheries Victoria education programs are complemented by the community education activities of other organisations including Fishcare and VRFish. These organisations foster responsible fishing practices and play an important role in fisheries education.
Victoria's culturally and linguistically-diverse society
Victoria is the most culturally diverse state in Australia. Almost twenty-four per cent of Victoria's population was born overseas; almost forty-four per cent of Victorians were either born overseas or have a parent who was born overseas. Victorians come from more than 200 countries, speak more than 230 languages and dialects and follow more than 120 religious faiths.
A significant number of Victorians came to Australia as refugees: Europeans displaced by the Second World War followed by refugees from the war in Indo-China and more recently from conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan (Victorian Multicultural Commission 2009).
Measures of diversity in the Goulburn-Broken region, which includes all or part of the Greater Shepparton, Benalla, Campaspe, Mansfield, Mitchell, Moira, Murrindindi and Strathbogie local government areas, are rapidly changing. Between 2001 and 2006, the population of the region increased by four per cent, the number of people born in Non Main-English Speaking Countries increased by almost nine per cent and the number of individuals who speak a language other than English at home increased by seven per cent (Victorian Multicultural Commission 2007).
Fisheries Victoria is working to increase cultural awareness, develop new networks and to share ideas about the future of Victoria's fisheries. A key aspect of developing networks is strengthening communication and involving our diverse communities in managing Victoria's fisheries resources.
To help Fisheries Victoria to achieve these goals, an advisory group with the Victorian Multicultural Commission has been established to learn more from culturally diverse communities about their interest in fishing and to communicate to them their role in sustainably managing the States fisheries resources.
Consider culturally diverse communities in the Goulburn-Broken region in stakeholder communication programs
Involve culturally diverse communities in the Goulburn-Broken region in fisheries-related activities and events