Gippsland Lakes netting closure


COMMERCIAL netting in Gippsland Lakes is set to end, with the Victorian Government passing legislation designed to boost tourism, create jobs and protect the unique lake system.

The Marine and Fisheries Legislation Amendment Act 2019 will phase out the 10 remaining Gippsland Lakes Fishing Access Licences over two years. The first opportunity for industry to exit will be 1 April next year, with all affected licences phased out by 1 April 2021.

The new laws are part of the second phase of the government’s $35 million Target One Million plan to get more people fishing, more often in more places.

Recreational fishing is worth more than $325 million annually to the Gippsland economy.

The 10 remaining Gippsland Lakes Fishing Access Licences will have access to compensation packages consistent with those provided under the Port Phillip buy-out if they leave the fishery by 1 April 2020.

Licence holders that choose to stay in the fishery another 12 months can then claim reduced compensation packages by 1 April 2021.

Commercial bait, eel and mussel fishing will not be impacted by the Bill and will continue to be permitted in the Gippsland Lakes.

Victorian and Commonwealth offshore fisheries that use the Lakes as a port will also remain unaffected, ensuring that prawns and other species sold into the food market will remain available to consumers.

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