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Productivity Comission Report into Marine Fisheries


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Hope this post is not out of order but a read we need to have

Dear ANSA Colleague,

Many of you would be aware that the Productivity Commission released its report into Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture late last week. There are two very comprehensive reports that are worth taking the time to read over as many of the issue raised have considerable significance for the future of recreational fishing. You can access the reports via - http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/fisheries-aquaculture/draft#glance

Key issues in the report are –

· Following past over-fishing, Australian governments have sought to apply policies to reduce catch volumes, and thereby restore and maintain fish stocks. Generally, these have been successful in improving sustainability.

· A developing issue is weak knowledge of the impact of increasingly successful but unmanaged recreational fishing on some high value fish stocks.

· Current policy settings are sometimes overly prescriptive and outdated. In particular: Most commercial fisheries are managed primarily though controls over fishing methods, despite long recognition that this is a relatively inefficient way of meeting catch constraints, and inhibits fishers from introducing more cost effective practices.

· Recreational and Indigenous customary fishing activity is at best sporadically monitored and impacts on stock sustainability largely uncounted in fishery management regimes. This is despite the fact that recreational fishing is a popular pastime for millions of Australians, and that recreational catch rivals commercial catch for some species, placing pressure on some key stocks.

· Governments differ in the extent to which they have adopted best practice fishery management techniques, which is leading to significant costs for fishers operating in some cross jurisdictional fisheries, and risks to sustainability of stocks.

· Commercial fisheries should move as a default position to apply transferrable quota systems. This would result in fewer constraints on fishing practice and provide a more efficient and effective means of adhering to harvest limits.

· Recreational fishing needs greater recognition in fisheries management, and decisions on restrictions and facilities for fishers require development of a sound evidence base.

· The introduction of licensing for recreational fishers where not presently used, and the better use of licensing systems to manage fishing where they are used, will provide a means for better meeting the needs of both future generations of fishers and environmental outcomes.

· The value of access to fisheries is multifaceted, incorporating economic, social and cultural benefits. Allocation of access where there is competition for fisheries resources should seek to maximise this value.

· Indigenous customary fishing is given special recognition consistent with native title rights more generally. However, there is limited clarity about what these rights entail for catch limits, which is an outcome of customary fishing being generally exempted from fishery management regimes. There is relatively poor input from Indigenous people into fishery management. Effective incorporation of customary fishing into management systems would help resolve these issues.

· Benefits from dissolving boundaries via active cooperation in the management of critical cross jurisdictional fish stocks are often recognised but only rarely delivered.

· Other improvements include making regulatory standards for protected species clearer, greater delegation of operational decision making to fishery managers and strengthening cost recovery arrangements.

ANSA together with other state and national peak member bodies of ARFF (Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation) have collaborated in making submissions on behalf of all recreational fishers to the Productivity Commission and generally we are in agreement with most of the report conclusions and recommendations.

The national media over the past week has run numerous story lines on the Productivity Commission report which in most respects has been positive for recreational fishing as it has lifted our profile considerably.

As well as speaking with the media over the past week the members of ARFF have put out a joint media release - a copy of which is attached.

ARFF and its members will be providing a detailed response to the Productivity Commission report.

Please circulate to your club and member networks.


John Burgess

Executive Officer/ Director

ANSA National Ltd

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Guest Guest123456789

This is the draft report, the final report will be released in December and guess who's desk it goes on? Scott Morrison. The same guy who has sold half of Australia to the Chinese.

How much do recreational fishos donate to the liberal party and the member for Cook? How much do the commercials?

Edited by Guest123456789
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