IN a letter from Colin Tannahill, President of the Australian Fishing Trade Association, all political parties were asked to provide their policy platforms in relation to:
• The Commonwealth Marine Park Plan. Please provide a definitive response on the future of the Commonwealth Marine Park Plan which has 8 years to run before review. This is an issue of major concern to our members and the recreational fishing community.
• Murray-Darling Basin River System. The recent tragic events in the Murray-Darling Basin River System, in particular the massive fish kills are of concern not just to our AFTA members, but to all fishing people, tourism operators and Basin residents. Pleased provide your plan to address this and mitigate the impact.
• The Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT). The recreational catch of SBT has come under intense political pressure lately, please detail your plan to protect the rights of recreational fishers to continue to catch the SBT and what restrictions/guidelines will be put into place.
• Fisheries Research Development Corporation. The FRDC have recommenced a plan to conduct a National Recreational Fishing Survey which the industry supports. What will your party do to provide a sustainable financial future for the FRDC and its work that benefits both the recreational and commercial sector?
• Recreational Fishing Community Grants Program. Does your Party have a program to directly target the infrastructure needs of the Recreational Fishers in the community? If so, please provide details of your program.
We are very keen to see a positive plan that delivers improved recreational fishing opportunities for all people and increases the economic benefit to Australia.
You can find a summary of their answers below.