EU recognises fishos, why don’t Aussie governments?

THE European Parliament has voted to officially recognise recreational fishing interests when drawing up legislation, leading to calls for the same level of governmental support for the Australian angling sector.

The March issue of Angling International, a highly influential trade magazine serving the global tackle industry, reports that an “historic vote” by the EU Parliament earlier this year now means that recreational fishing has been incorporated into the Common Fisheries Policy.

Long-term lobbying efforts by the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association and the European Anglers Alliance “succeeded in getting a vital amendment making specific reference to recreational fishing written into the policy for policy reform,” the Angling International report said.

A vote in Strasbourg on February 6 saw the amendment ratified, meaning that the EU Parliament must now take the angling sector’s interests into account when making legislation on fisheries issues.

A spokesman for Keep Australia Fishing (KAF), the peak advocacy organisation representing Australia’s 5 million recreational fishers, said official recognition of fishing by the EU Parliament highlighted the need for similar moves by Australian governments.
“We need our governments to officially recognise and consider the rec fishing sector when making decisions about fisheries legislation and access rights,” the KAF spokesman said.

“For too long the needs and requirements of Aussie anglers have played second fiddle to those of green extremists and the commercial sector.

“KAF and other groups working for angler rights will be pushing these issues in the lead up to the federal election on September 14.

“If the EU can embrace important policy initiatives like this, then surely it’s not too much to expect our governments to do likewise.”

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