Andrews Government must protect Portland Bay from netting.

30 August 2023

Andrews Government must protect Portland Bay from netting.

Following the recent ban of commercial fishing in Port Phillip Bay, there are concerns from the Portland community that many of the approximately 150 commercial licensees based in Victoria may relocate to Portland Bay.
Several decades ago, after years of overfishing, there emerged widespread community recognition of the need to act. Fish like the King George Whiting and Snapper were at dangerously low levels and at risk of becoming extinct.
Therefore, in 1994, a handshake agreement was struck that determined there would be no commercial netting done in Portland Bay.
The Portland community should be applauded for reversing this situation and for the subsequent harmonious existence between recreational and commercial fishing communities.
However, this situation is at risk of unintended consequences from the Andrews Government’s recent commercial fishing bans.
Current fishing regulations ban commercial fishing in Portland Bay over holiday periods such as Christmas, Easter and school holidays, and the local community would now like to see this ban extended year-round.
Shadow Minister for Boating and Fishing, Roma Britnell, called on the Minister to issue an interim fishery notice to protect Portland Bay from netting from Lawrence rocks mouth of the Fitzroy River.
“Local communities must be properly consulted when big changes are made, otherwise they bare the brunt of unintended consequences,” Ms Britnell said.
“The Minister must act quickly to issue an interim notice to protect Portland Bay from commercial fishing and continue the longstanding arrangement that has worked for several decades.”

[ENDS]

Roma Britnell MP
Member for South West Coast
Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight
Shadow Minister for Boating and Fishing

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