Meeting to confront Top End fishing challenges

RESTRICTED fishing access in the Northern Territory and other issues affecting the future of Top End fisheries are set to be brought up at the annual general meeting of AFANT this weekend.  

“We have reached a critical point in the Blue Mud Bay negotiations between the NT Government and the Land Councils and we have asked Chief Minister Paul Henderson to give us a report at the AGM on just what the outcomes are likely to be and how it will impact on our fishing access,” said AFANT President Warren de With.

“Progressing the promised buy back of three additional commercial barramundi fishing licences and closing other areas to commercial netting will also be key issues as is the need to consider reef fish resources in the heavily fished areas close to Darwin.

“The lack of resources for our Water Police to carry out adequate fishery compliance and enforcement activities has been a concern for recreational fishers for some time now and there are now concerns about the lack of suitable boats for both enforcement and search and rescue activities.

“We will be highlighting the need for increased emphasis on these activities and for increased resources for Water Police at the meeting on Sunday,” said Warren de With.

“Mining and other resources projects are coming on stream at a rapid rate here in the Territory and AFANT is concerned to ensure that the companies involved recognise that they have a responsibility to preserve our great Territory lifestyle including our recreational fishing.”

There will be an update briefing from Inpex on NT gas plant developments at the meeting.

Chief Minister Paul Henderson, Fisheries Minister Kon Vatskalis, and Opposition
Leader Terry Mills are expected to attend the meeting along with other local politicians and senior public servants.

The AFANT Annual General Meeting is on at 10:00 am Sunday 11 March at Tracy Village Social and Sports Club, Tambling Terrace, Lyons.

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