Fishing alliance launched in Canberra

The Boating and Fishing Council of Australia, a newly formed alliance body representing rec fishing, boating and marine groups was officially launched in Federal Parliament, Canberra today.

Spokesperson Dean Logan stated, “This is arguably one of the most significant developments for the boating, outboard and recreational fishing lobby in Australia in over 20 years.

“The Council brings together every key sector into one central body. This allows Members to proactively
drive policy and for the views of Member constituents to be taken directly to decision makers.”

The Council consists of the following groups:

  • Australian Marine Industries Federation including: Marine Queensland; Boating Industry Association of SA; Boating Industry Association of VIC; Boating Industry Association of WA; Boating Industry Association of NT; Boating Industry Association of NSW
  • Australian Fishing Trade Association
  • Outboard Engine Distributors Association
  • Australian Marine Engine Council
  • Recfish Australia (Recfish Australia support BFCA however cannot officially join until the new Recfish Board is appointed at this weekends annual general meeting in Melbourne)

Don Jones, Spokesperson for the Australian Marine Industries Federation and General Manager of Marine
Queensland continued, “This is an exciting, strong and sophisticated development as the respective
sectors face serious policy challenges ahead.”

“We haven’t been entirely happy with decisions made by the current Federal Government, most notably the half day’s notice given when the Environment Minister declared the Coral Sea as a Conservation Zone.
“For too long as respective sectors we have been painted as disjointed and not responsive to
environmental challenges – this is not the case and this perception ceases to exist today.” Jones said.

Bruce Alvey, President of AFTA agreed, “Our key pitch to Government is two-fold, consult directly with us
and develop future policy solutions based on ‘co-management’ principles.”

Bruce Alvey, President of the Australian Fishing Tackle Association.

“We accept some criticism for the lack of direct consultation, however, radical policy prescriptions to close
marine environments and limited access – to the point of no ‘human activity’ – are ridiculous. In our view
fishing and boating alongside sound environmental management outcomes are very achievable; hence the implementation of co-management policies are the only way forward.”

Lindsay Grenfell, Executive Officer of the Outboard Engine Distributors Association noted, “I can’t think of a better forum to help the respective sectors move forward on a range of mutual policy concerns and to
engage Government directly.”

David Hayes, Chairman of the newly formed Australian Marine Engine Council (AMEC) concluded, “Joining the Boating and Fishing Council of Australia is a very important initiative for AMEC.

“We applaud the opportunity to move ahead as a single unified entity and look forward to working hard on he consultation process and addressing a range of policy concerns.”

BFCA representatives have scheduled meetings with the Federal Ministers for Fisheries Tony Burke and Environment Minister Peter Garrett for today.

Download PDF for more information on BFCA and its policies here: Boating and Fishing Council of Aust. Federal briefing

Fisho will keep you updated of any outcomes of these meetings.

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