Report to Parliament 2002-2003
Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2000
Pursuant to Section 151B(4) Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2000, the Minister must cause a report on how amounts paid into the Recreational Fishing Licence Trust Account were disbursed -
(a) to be prepared by 1 October each year; and
(b) to be laid before each House of Parliament on or before the 7th sitting day of that House after the report has been prepared.
For the information of Honourable Members, the Recreational Fishing Licence Trust Account came into effect on 1 April 2001, and a new Fisheries Revenue Allocation Committee, whose function is to provide any advice requested by me on the priorities for the disbursement of funds from the RFL Trust Account, was appointed for three years on 1 August 2003.
The Committee consists of six members, including-
(a) 2 members of the Fisheries Co-Management Council or of a fishery committee with knowledge of, and experience in, recreational fishing nominated by the Council;
(b) 2 people nominated by the Secretary, Department of Primary Industries;
(c) 2 people nominated by the recognised peak body for recreational fishing (VRFish).
The 2002/03 financial year is the second full year of the RFL Trust Account's operation.
The Victorian Auditor-General has audited the revenue received, and disbursements made from the Recreational Fishing Licence Trust Account in 2002/03.
Recreational Fisheries Officers
The Department of Primary Industries employs 10 Recreational Fisheries Officers (RFOs) who are fully funded from RFL Trust Account revenue. Four RFOs operate in the Port Phillip Region, and two operate in each of the Northern Region, the Gippsland Region, and the South West Region.
Recreational Fisheries Officers were first employed in October 1999 to perform a significant and continuing compliance, education and extension services role following the introduction, in July 1999, of the All-Waters Recreational Fishing Licence. The RFOs perform a range of activities that contribute significantly to the improvement of recreational fishing in Victoria.
Port Phillip Region
Fisheries Port Phillip Region employs four Recreational Fisheries Officers who are based at Altona, Cowes, Geelong and Mornington. Over the past year, their activities have included, but are not confined to the following.
- Management of Fishcare Volunteer Program at four locations under guidance of the Regional Fishcare Facilitator
- Attendance at recreational fishing events and expos, such as Lilydale Lake Family Day, Westernport Whiting Challenge, Jack 'Yabbie' Wells' Whiting Competition, and Fishing & Great Outdoors Expo, Ron Nelson Memorial Family Fishing Day
- Attendance at workshops and forums to discuss issues relating to recreational fishing of abalone, rock lobster and within Marine Protected Areas
- Contribution to recreational fisher creel survey coordinated by Marine and Freshwater Resources Institute (MAFRI)
- Attendance at angling club meetings
- Major contribution to the conduct of the Frankston on Sea Festival and 'The Briars' Environment Week schools' education expo
- Attendance at 'Get Hooked' Fishing Clinics as part of the Coast Action/Coastcare's Summer Activities Program
- Installation of fish measuring rulers on piers
- Attendance at seminars to assist Parks Victoria staff to communicate key messages following the implementation of the Marine National Parks package
- Contributions regarding recreational fishing to local and metropolitan newspapers, departmental newsletters, web site, and brochures
- Provision of input to annual Freshwater Fisheries Consultation meeting
Summary of Port Phillip Region's Recreational Fisheries Officer Outputs - full year
|Recreational fisher contacts||> 1900|
|Abalone & Rock Lobster diver contacts||> 100|
|Fishcare programs||4 locations|
|Fish measure pier ruler installations||35|
|Fish releases||15 sites|
|Disabled fisher clinics||26|
|Holiday fishing clinics||16|
|Case management of Court briefs, PINs etc.||87 (1/2 days)|
|Print media coverage||25|
|Angling club meetings||37|
|Creel survey interviews||420|
Fisheries Northern Region employs two Indigenous Recreational Fisheries Officers - one is based at Tatura and one at Swan Hill.
These officers were first employed on the 28 April 2003 to perform a significant and continuing compliance, education and extension services role in inland Victoria. Both officers perform a range of activities that will contribute significantly to the improvement of recreational fishing and improved relationships between recreational fishers and indigenous communities in inland Northern Victoria.
Since their employment, their activities have included, but are not confined to, the following.
- Operational training
- Conduct fisheries patrols to check on fish catch and size limits licence compliance
- Attendance at training
- Attendance at recreational fishing events and expos
- Attendance at angling club meetings
- Provide, manage and maintain up to date signage around busy and popular recreational fishing areas
- Develop community links with indigenous and non indigenous through government and private business
- Inform local areas of fish stocking programs within their community through local news papers etc
- Prepare briefs for court proceedings
Summary of Northern Region's Recreational Fisheries Officer Outputs - part year
|Recreational fisher contacts||> 50|
|Fishing events expos||1|
|Fish sign installations||6 sites|
|Fish releases||2 sites|
|Angling club meetings||1|
|Information - Public displays||1|
|Briefs/court hearings, etc.||1|
Fisheries Gippsland Region employs two Recreational Fisheries Officers - one is based at Bairnsdale1 and one at Mallacoota.
The Recreational Fisheries Officers continue to perform a significant and continuing compliance, education and extension services role in the Gippsland Region. The Officers perform a range of activities that contribute significantly to the improvement of recreational fishing in this Region including, but not confined to, the following.
- Conduct fisheries patrols to check compliance with catch limits, size limits and recreational fishing licence requirements
- Provide support to the Gippsland Fishcare Facilitator
- Assist in the management of Fishcare Volunteers and assist in field days and outings
- Provide advice to the public in relation to recreational fishing as required
- Provide assistance to MAFRI staff in the collection of creel survey information.
- Contribute articles relating to recreational fishing to the Fishcare Newsletter and the local media
- Organise and encourage local school field trips to provide environmental information
- Organise additional outlets for the purchase of recreational fishing licences
- Attend field days to provide visitors with recreational fisheries related information and advice
- Attend fishing competitions
- Liaise with local tackle shops, providing up-to-date recreational fisheries related literature
- Provide assistance to other fisheries staff with the management of fish death events in the Mitchell River
1 From July 2003 the Bairnsdale officer's position was relocated to Lakes Entrance
Summary of Gippsland Region's Recreational Fisheries Officer Outputs – full year
|Recreational fisher contacts||> 1000|
|RFL Production Notices||4|
|Fishcare field days||7|
|Recreational fisheries related presentations||5|
|Multi-agency field days||1|
|Ongoing public displays||3|
|Temporary public displays||5|
|Fishcare and media articles||10|
|Angling/dive club involvements||9|
|Recreational Fisheries Operations||2|
South West Region
Fisheries South West Region employs two Recreational Fisheries Officers – one is based at Portland and one at Warrnambool.
The Officers' activities have included, but are not confined to the following.
- Develop and conduct recreational fisheries related projects including, Kids Fishing clinics, Ballarat Fishing Expo, Acme Field Days, and Horsham Apex Fishing Competition
- Attend annual Regional fish stocking consultation meeting, World Environment Day in schools programs, the opening of Marine Parks areas; the Glenelg River children's fishing day, the Melbourne Fishing Show, and the Warrnambool Fishcare Program
- Participate in a carp survey Rocklands/Glenelg, Lakes Purrumbete and Bullen Merri creel programs, the Lakes Hamilton and Konongwootong fish surveys, and Rock lobster tagging program
- Manage and report on the Warrnambool Clean Seas litter mitigation program to Environment Australia
- Assist MAFRI in bream and snapper research programs, and the Murray cod survey and fish relocation in Lake Charlegrark
- Conduct fish releases at Warrnambool and Portland
- Participate in targeted recreational compliance operations and conduct various patrols
Summary of South West Region's Recreational Fisheries Officers' Outputs - full year
|Education contacts||> 1000|
|Recreational fishers (inland,|
|Fish releases||10 sites|
|Angling club meetings||8|
|Briefs/court hearings etc.||3|