Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group Meeting 18
26 June 2013 - Location: Department of Environment and Primary Industries, 78 Henna Street, Warrnambool
Independent Chair's Summary
This was the 18th meeting of the Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group.
Key items discussed included:
- Implementing 1st year of Recreational Fishing Grants Program Communications Plan 2012/14
- Establishing Snobs Creek fish stocking advisory board
- Summary of fish stocking program 2012/13
- Progress with key Recreational Fishing Grants Program projects
- Survey of recreational fishers' (divers') take of abalone, rock lobster and scallop in 2012
- Fisheries Victoria regional forums – some recreational fisher feedback
- Providing new/improved recreational fishing related signage at locations of interest
- Year-to-date RFL T/A revenue and expenditure and licence sales data 2012/13
- Draft RFL T/A revenue and expenditure report to Parliament 2012/13
Implementing 1st year of Recreational Fishing Grants Program Communications Plan 2012/14
Fisheries Victoria provided a progress report on the implementation of the 1st year of the plan. The Working Group noted the logic behind communication methods such as media releases, DEPI Facebook posts, etc., as they relate to the Recreational Fishing Grants Program.
The Working Group agreed that communicating outcomes of projects to recreational fishers remains a high priority, ongoing, and encouraged Fisheries Victoria to continue the good work.
Establishing Snobs Creek fish stocking advisory board
Fisheries Victoria provided a presentation regarding progress in the proposed formation of a fish stocking governance group that would oversee fish stocking throughout Victoria. A meeting of invited participants had recently been held at the Snobs Creek fish hatchery to discuss the group's potential role and membership.
The next step is to conduct an expression of interest process to attract suitable applicants for the advisory board.
Summary of fish stocking program 2012/13
Fish stocking has steadily been increasing over recent years and 2012/13 has been another record fish stocking season, with almost 2.7 million fish stocked into Victorian waterways.
Fisheries Victoria provided an update on the challenges of continuing this new benchmark and consideration of new opportunities that may arise to enable the continuous maintenance and development of Victoria's recreational fisheries.
The Working Group noted that the completion of the stocking component of the Lake Eildon 'Million Murray Cod' project is a major achievement for the fishery and region.
Progress with key Recreational Fishing Grants Program projects
Fisheries Victoria provided the Working Group with a presentation on the status of a number of RFL funded projects currently being delivered by DEPI.
The Working Group noted the progress for projects including:
- The installation of artificial reefs in the Kerang lakes
- The creation of a new estuary perch fishery for south-west Victoria
- Establishing a new Australian bass fishery in the Nicholson river
- Restoring Victoria's Chinook salmon fishery
- The deployment of eight recreational fishing reefs in estuaries in regional area and the construction of a large sale off-shore reef in the vicinity of Torquay (co-funded by the Recreational Fishing Initiative)
- The 'Building Northern Native Fisheries (co-funded by the Recreational Fishing Initiative)
Survey of recreational fishers' (divers') take of abalone, rock lobster and scallop in 2012
In May 2013, Fisheries Victoria commissioned an email survey, over 19 days, of 94,000 recreational fishers who had purchased their RFL online, regarding their dive-take of abalone, rock lobster and scallop in 2012.
The survey used the same boundaries as the commercial abalone and rock lobster fisheries and the divisions of the proposed commercial scallop dive fishery in Port Phillip Bay.
The Working Group noted the preliminary findings of the survey that will be published on the DEPI website.
Fisheries Victoria regional forums – recreational fisher feedback
For the 5th consecutive year, Fisheries Victoria, in partnership with VRFish, is holding 11 recreational fishing regional forums across the State in June and July 2013. The forums provide fishers with the opportunity to have a say about growing recreational fishing in Victoria and learn more about what Fisheries Victorian is doing to improve fishing opportunities. Locations for the forums include Port Fairy, Greensborough, Eildon, Nagambie, Bendigo, Inverloch, Werribee Wodonga (all during June) and Torquay (3 July).
The Working Group noted some of the outcomes of the forums to date and that fishers from multi-cultural communities are being encouraged to attend the Werribee forum being held during World Refugee Week (World Refugee Day 20 June), while hearing from female fishers is the focus of the Wodonga forum.
Providing new/improved recreational fishing related signage at locations of interest
The Working Group noted that it had previously advised Fisheries Victoria of their strong support for the implementation of more informative recreational fishing signage across Victoria's inland waterways, and that any funding proposal from Fisheries Victoria or another organisation for additional signage would be submitted via the Large or Commissioning Grant Programs.
Year-to-date RFL T/A revenue and expenditure and licence sales data 2012/13
The Working Group noted the status of RFL Trust Account revenue and expenditure and licence sales thus far during 2012/13.
Draft RFL T/A revenue and expenditure report to Parliament 2012/13
A report on how amounts paid into the RFL Trust Account were disbursed is tabled in both Houses of Parliament each year. The report outlines all revenues and expenditures associated with the Trust Account including provision to fund previously approved projects extending into future years as applicable.
The Working Group noted that the draft 2012/13 RFL Trust Account revenue and expenditure Report to both Houses Parliament will be provided to key stakeholders following its tabling in mid-September 2013.
Next meeting: date to be confirmed
Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group