AFANT has welcomed last week’s announcement by Fisheries Minister Kon Vatskalis that the NT Government has closed Bynoe Harbour, the Finniss River and a small section of Fog Bay to commercial barramundi netting.
“We are very happy with the designated closure area for Bynoe Harbour and, while we had hoped that the whole of Fog Bay would be closed, we are grateful that the Finnis River and an area adjacent to the Finniss and Little Finniss mouths will be net free,” said AFANT President Warren de With.
“These closures reflect the increasing economic and lifestyle value of recreational barramundi fishing in the Territory and have been accompanied by a voluntary commercial licence buy-back program to minimise impact on commercial fishers,
“Four commercial licences representing some 2.6 kilometres of commercial net entitlements have been bought back and we believe that this covers well in excess of the actual commercial fishing effort in the area that will be closed.”
“The barramundi is a high value fishery resource for the Northern Territory and the Minister is right in working towards maximising that value by allocating a greater share of the fish to recreational fishers in areas close to Darwin.”
“This resource reallocation process in the NT’s barramundi fishery has been the subject of considerable consultation over a long period of time and it needs to continue to ensure the Territory derives maximum value from this important fishery,” Mr de With said.