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Rec fishers call on Colbeck to resolve super trawler issues

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THE Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) has written to federal fisheries minister Senator Richard Colbeck in a bid to resolve ongoing concerns over super trawlers.

In its letter ARFF sets out what it wants to achieve for Australia’s rec fishers in relation to the super trawler issue.

The ARFF has resorted to writing directly to Senator Colbeck following the breakdown of talks between the national rec fishing representative body and the Small Pelagic Fishery Industry Association (SPFIA). Fisho previously reported talks between the groups came to a halt after the SPFIA provided what rec fishing leaders say is an “unacceptable” response to angler concerns.

See earlier story here.

In its letter to the fisheries minister the ARFF states:

Since ceasing the talks with SPFIA the ARFF has been re-assessing its approach to the issue of commercial fishing on the small pelagic fishery including the operation of the Geelong Star.

While it might be attractive to some to just outline the terms and conditions ARFF members might want in order to re-engage in the discussions, we are no longer convinced that we should be dealing with the Geelong Star group outside a formal government (AFMA/ Department of Agriculture) process as other stakeholders in this fishery are involved.

Further, while we want an urgent resolution on the Geelong Star we are now very much of the view that to resolve this in the long term will require urgent government attention on the broader issues of resource sharing and representation in Commonwealth fisheries.

The ARFF letter goes on to say: The problem is quite simply that the Commonwealth Fisheries Management Act does not recognise recreational fishing. As such it is impossible for the largest stakeholder group fishing for many Commonwealth species to be able to legally have a place at the table so that it can legitimately have its concerns heard and be effective in the management decisions that are taken for these key species.

Read ARFF’s letter to Senator Colbeck in full HERE.

In related news, the Geelong Star has been suspended from fishing Zone 6 of the SPF following another dolphin death.

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