In the 2005/06 financial year more than $1.2 million of revenue derived from the sale of Recreational Fishing Licences (RFLs) was approved for disbursement to 25 new Recreational Fishing Grant Program (RFGP) projects throughout the State.
The disbursements will fund the construction of 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.
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 research; and
- Recreational fisheries related education, information and training.
During 2005/06, RFL Trust Account revenues have also been disbursed to fund major items including:
- The voluntary buy-out of Bay and Inlet Commercial Fishery Access Licences;
- The ongoing operations of 10 regionally-based Fisheries Officers ;
- Costs and expenses incurred in the administration of the RFL, the RFGP, and the Fisheries Revenue Allocation Committee;
- Recreational Fishing Licence sales commissions; and
- Funding for the Victorian Recreational Fishing peak body (VRFish).
During 2005/06, 239,728 RFLs were sold through approximately 950 retail outlets and on-line through DPI.s website, with the sale of the licences generating revenue of more than $4.5 million.
This revenue result has allowed provision to be made to fund any emerging recreational fishing issues, priority 2005/06 Recreational Fishing Grant program projects, and payments pertaining to the planned voluntary buy-back of bays and inlets commercial fishing licences, which was completed in December 2005.
This is the sixth 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 use of the resource.