Revenue Spent in 2003-04
The Government's partnership with recreational fishers continues to flourish to the mutual benefit of the fishers themselves and our fishing environment. The government is committed to improving the productivity and sustainability of Victoria's recreational fisheries for current and future generations.
The government is also committed to:
- ensuring recreational fishers are informed about what their licence fees are spent on, and are given a say in determining that expenditure; and,
- producing local, area-based management plans under a more coordinated approach to fisheries management
In the 2003/04 financial year, almost $1 million of revenue derived from the sale of Recreational Fishing Licences (RFL) was approved for disbursement to 40 Recreational Fishing Grant Program (RFGP) projects designed to improve Victoria's recreational fishing. The disbursements will fund the construction new fishing platforms and fish cleaning facilities, improve fish habitat and enhance fish stocking, develop and deliver recreational fisheries-related education, information and training programs, and recreational fisheries research projects. An additional $298,000 has recently been approved for disbursement to three recreational fisheries information projects, and five recreational fisheries research projects that extend into 2004/05.
Recreational Fishing Licence (RFL) Trust Account funds will continue to become available through the annual Recreational Fishing Grant Program to fund projects that improve recreational fishing in the following four project categories:
- Recreational fisheries' sustainability and habitat improvement (including fish stocking);
- Recreational fishing access and facilities;
- Recreational fisheries related education, information and training; and,
- Recreational fisheries research.
During 2003/04, RFL Trust Account revenues have also been disbursed to fund major items including:
- 54 previously approved RFGP projects amounting to $1.76 million;
- The buy-out of Commercial Fishery Access Licences at Lake Tyers and Mallacoota Inlet, to make those areas recreational-only fishing zones;
- The ongoing operations of 10 regionally-based Recreational Fisheries Officers (see pages two to six inclusive for information concerning these officers' Outputs for 2003/04);
- Costs and expenses incurred in the administration of the RFL, the RFGP, and the Fisheries Revenue Allocation Committee;
- Recreational Fishing Licence sales commissions;
- Victorian Recreational Fishing peak body; and,
- Stocking of over 2,000 Murray cod yearlings and over 35,000 golden perch fingerling into five of the inland waters (including Lake Boga which was added in the summer of 2003/04) where commercial fishing ceased as a result of the buy-out, in 2002, of the remaining Inland Fishery Access Licences.
During 2003/04, 235,357 RFLs were sold, with the sale of these licences generating revenue of more than $4.1 million. This is the fourth report to each House of Parliament on the revenue and disbursements from the RFL Trust Account. The coming years will see continued collaboration between key stakeholder groups and the Department of Primary Industries to increase recreational fishing opportunities, while ensuring sustainable utilisation of the resource.