Election 2013: Political Q&A on recreational fishing issues

HERE’S Fisho’s list of questions on recreational fishing issues put forward to Australia’s political parties ahead of the 2013 federal election.

1)  Will you commit to supporting science-based policies relating to proposed and existing no fishing zones? In other words, if, for example, there is little or no credible science requiring blanket bans on recreational fishing in Commonwealth waters, would you commit to allowing sustainable and carefully-managed recreational fishing activities in these areas?

2)  Will you commit to supporting the appointment of a dedicated Minister or Parliamentary Secretary for Recreational Fishing?

3)  What is your policy position on AFMA being required to assess and consider recreational fishing interests when implementing management protocols for Commonwealth fisheries resources?

4)  Will you commit to supporting official recognition of recreational fishing as a sport? If so, would you commit to support and help fund appropriate policies aimed at developing this concept?

5)  Will you commit to providing appropriate ‘seed’ funding to allow the recreational sector’s peak organisation to: (a) fully engage in policy processes? and: (b) develop business plans to enable long-term sustainable funding?

6)  Will you commit to assisting and supporting the recreational sector to instigate and develop research projects aimed at identifying priority areas for recreational policy development? Would, for example, you support a dedicated research trust fund that can work with existing research funding mechanisms to focus research relevant to the recreational sector?

7)  Will you commit to opposing any future attempts by commercial fishing operations to introduce ‘supertrawlers’ or similar industrial-type fishing activities into Australian waters, especially where issues of ‘localised depletion’ are a concern?

8)  What are your policies on the possible introduction of some form of national ‘fishing licence’ to enable more cohesive management and development of recreational fishing activities?

9)  What are your policies on the possible introduction of national size and bag limits?

10)  Would you support the development of a system of artificial reefs in Commonwealth waters to ‘compensate’ anglers for areas lost to marine parks and to further develop sustainable angling opportunities?

11)  Would you support initiatives to better develop recreational fishing tourism, especially in regional areas?

12)  Do you support and endorse the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) as the peak national body representing the recreational fishing sector?

13)  Do you have any specific policies relating to recreational fishing which are not covered in the questions above? If so, what are these policies?

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