Productivity Commission recommends better fisheries management


SLOW adoption of best practice in the management of commercial fisheries, and limited recognition of the impacts and value of recreational fishing, are placing constraints on sustainability and value of the sector according to the productivity commission.

In a draft report released yesterday, the Commission says management approaches need to better reflect the fact that there are limits to the catch from wild capture fisheries. Therefore, historical attitudes to prefer one group over another will need to change if Australia is to sustain both recreational and commercial fishing into the future.

The Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) has welcomed the Productivity Commission’s draft report into Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture, and in particular the report’s recommendations of greater recognition for rec fishos and the admission that the value of recreational fishing is becoming more important than commercial fishing to many coastal communities.

“We welcome the Productivity Commission’s conclusions in relation to the need for greater recognition of recreational fishing by Governments and in particular for fisheries management. We are pleased that they have listened to recreational fishing stakeholders in developing their report,” said managing director of ARFF Allan Hansard.

“We agree with the Productivity Commission that recreational fishing needs to be better accounted for in a value and volume sense, however it should be noted that recreational fishing is now highly regulated through bag, size limits and in some cases through closed seasons and restrictions on gear used. Fisheries scientists with the aim of sustainably managing fish stocks now set these regulations. In some cases they are more stringent than for commercial fishers.

“We also agree with the Productivity Commission that the value of recreational fishing is becoming more important than commercial fishing to many coastal communities.

“These conclusions by the Productivity Commission build a strong case for recreational fishing to be appropriately recognised by Governments and have a genuine seat at the table when it comes to determining the management of some of our key fisheries, not only at the State level but also in relation to our Commonwealth fisheries,” Hansard said.

Productivity Commission draft report summary infographic

The draft report and summary are available here and written submissions will be open until Friday 14th October.

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