Commercial barra closures welcomed in Top End

THE Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the NT (AFANT) has welcomed the announcement this week by the Territory’s Fisheries minister Willem Westra Van Holthe of commercial barramundi fishing closures – which include the Chambers and Finke Bays.

“This announcement is a great day for recreational anglers in the Territory as well as visiting anglers and the tourism industry” said AFANT President Warren de With.”

“AFANT congratulates Chief Minister Terry Mills for personally taking this issue on and making it CLP policy in the lead up to the August 2012 election and we also acknowledge the tremendous efforts of Minister Willem Westra Van Holthe in implementing the policy.”

“Today’s announcement is the start of the process that will see the end of commercial barramundi fishing from the entire coastline from Kakadu National Park to south of the Finniss River in Fog Bay.”

“AFANT has long campaigned on these commercial fishing closures as we see the opportunity to transform the Mary river system and Chambers and Finke Bay into a truly world class Barra fishery.”

“Recreational fishers across the Northern Territory and wider Australia will embrace this announcement as a positive step to further enhance the great territory lifestyle and recreational angling opportunities we have in the territory.”

“The Chambers and Finke Bays are recognised for the spectacular run off barra fishing along the coastal creeks including Sampan, Marsh, Swim, Carmor and Tommycut Creeks with trophy sized barra and threadfin accessible to local anglers at a reasonable distance from Darwin.”

“The removal of commercial barra fishing in Chambers and Finke bays will see 140 tonnes of barramundi and threadfin stay in the water each year giving anglers a much greater opportunity to catch that ‘fish of a life-time’ that this region is renowned for.”

Today’s announcement will mean that commercial barramundi fishing will not resume in these areas when the season reopens in the rest of the Territory on 1 February next year.”

“AFANT welcome this announcement and looks forward to working with the Northern Territory government and fisheries managers on getting the best possible outcomes by enhancing the access and management of the fisheries.” Mr de With said.

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