Anglers comply with international code

THE Chairman of Sunfish Queensland, David Bateman AM says he’s pleased recreational fishing in the state is being undertaken in accordance with the International Code for Responsible Fisheries.

At the Sunfish Annual General Meeting held in Brisbane on 29-30 September 2012, the membership of Sunfish was briefed on the importance of the Code for Responsible Fisheries in setting standards for how fisheries should be carried out and managed.

Australia is a party to this International Code developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Dr. Barry Pollock, the Scientific Officer of Sunfish, carried out an assessment of recreational fishing in Queensland to determine the levels of compliance with the International Code and found compliance was high in areas of fishery management, fishing activities and post-harvest practices, and research and monitoring. However, compliance was low in the area of integration of fisheries into coastal zone management. This low rating was not a result of recreational fishing, but caused by other activities and problems such as coastal development, spoil dumping, and poor water quality due to run-off.

Mr. Bateman also advised that the membership of Sunfish held a very strong view, shared by many other recreational fishers in Queensland, that recreational fishing is an important part of their culture and heritage. The cultural and heritage values of the Queensland recreational fishing sector has been “conveniently ignored” and must be acknowledged by Governments, other stakeholders and the public at large.

The recreational fishing industry is not just a pastime or hobby but ranges from organised sporting clubs with 45,000 individual members to a recreation enjoyed by 700,000 Queensland recreational fishers and interstate visitors.

For the past 20 years Sunfish has been fighting for the rights of the state’s anglers to preserve the quality of fishing and equal access to fish stocks.

Sunfish will continue to promote the enhancement of the existing recreational fishery with increased opportunities and access with government.

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