Shooters & Fishers bag proposed fishing regs

PROPOSALS to impose new bag limits in NSW based on community opinion rather than scientific evidence must be rejected, says the Chairman of the Fishing Branch of the Shooters and Fishers Party, Peter Johnson.

According to a press release from the Shooters & Fishers, proposals to reduce bag limits of trevally, luderick and bream from 20 to 10 – appear to have no valid reason beyond community feeling that current bags are excessive.

“These three species in particular are some of the most fecund fish in our local waters, and are very important to recreational anglers,” Johnson said.

“No scientific data was put forward in this discussion paper to recommend a reduction in the limits for these species, and NSW Fisheries states that only 1% of recreational anglers achieve the bag limit of 20 in the first instance.

“It is ludicrous to consider regulation based merely on social opinions.”

Whilst Johnson was scathing of most aspects of the Discussion Paper, he was supportive of the recommendations to allow bow hunting for carp; fin clipping to identify amateur-caught fish, should they be found in a commercial marketplace; and new identification of crab and lobster traps to protect the identity of anglers.

He suggested Fisheries should consider a much simpler limit on crab traps that allowed anglers to be properly equipped to catch the crabs of their choice, still within existing bag limits that have no scientific basis for reductions.

“It is well and truly past time that recreational anglers were represented properly by a Statutory body, something akin to the NSW Game Council,” Johnson said.

“Recreational anglers need their own body to achieve practical, workable outcomes for the fisheries resource. We’re paying a fee to access it, so let us manage it.

“We need stocks for the future, based on proper science, not on ideological social commentary from Green groups.”

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