Geelong Star targets game fishing hotspots

ANGLER opposition to the factory trawler Geelong Star continues to grow, following reports the vessel has recently been fishing next to iconic game fisheries in Port MacDonnell, South Australia.

Victorian rec fishing representative body VRFish says concern over the Geelong Star’s operations is driven by the goal to protect iconic recreational fishing locations and the surrounding regional communities they support.

VRFish says it is is working closely with other state recreational fishing peak bodies and national associations and all are united in the view that valuable recreational fisheries and the regional communities they support must not be put at risk.

As has been previously reported, The Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) had been engaging in good faith with the Small Pelagic Fishing Industry Association (SPFIA) in an attempt to negotiate outcomes to protect recreational fisheries around Australia. These negotiations collapsed due to the industry failing to adequately address the concerns of the recreational fishers and acknowledge key recreational fishing locations such as Portland, Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Apollo Bay.

The SPFIA had refused requests from the rec fishing group to cease fishing in 10 per cent of the area that makes up the SPF fishery (the 10 per cent representing key recreational areas of concern).

The snub from the industry also applied to key recreational fishing grounds in Tasmania, NSW and South Australia.

Zone 6 of the commercial fishery had been recently closed for six months following another dolphin mortality attributed to the Geelong Star.

With the vessel now excluded from one of the seven fishing zones rec fishing groups are concerned this may concentrate fishing pressure in the other zones, including some of Australia’s most iconic recreational fishing locations.

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