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Australian Anglers Association, (WA Division) Inc.


Comments on Management Paper 165, Integrated Fisheries Management Review Committee Report



These AAA comments were prepared by a sub committee of George Holman, Joe Horvath, Bob Henderson, Kevin Hughes, John Curtis, Adam Eastman and Terry Fuller on 14 January 2003 in response to the Integrated Fisheries Management Review Committee Report which were released for public comments in late 2002.

These AAA comments were discussed and finalised at the AAA Club Delegates' meeting on Tuesday 18 February 2003.

The recommendations and Minister's comments are as listed in the report at
http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/comm/broc/mp/mp165/index.html

============================================

Integrated Fisheries Review
Locked Bag 39
Cloisters Square Post Office
Perth WA 6850

The Australian Anglers Association (WA Division) Inc. represents recreational fishing clubs, and has some 6000 members in Western Australia.

The Association has the following comments on recommendations contained in the Integrated Fisheries Management Review Committee Report, and on the additional comments added by the Fisheries Minister.

Rec NumberAustralian Anglers Association Comments
1.Agree.
2.Agree.
3.Agree.
4.Agree.
5.Agree.
5. (i) and (ii) Agree.
5. (iii)Agree, however this situation should set the priority for getting the required data as soon as possible so that any changes are limited to the short term.

AAA would like an assurance that any limits imposed will be relaxed if subsequent information or research shows that the original allocations were smaller than would have been made had that information been available at the time.
5. (iv)Agree, however the application of the principles as proposed by the Minister have grey areas which need explanation.
5. (v)Agree most strongly. This recommendation is very important for management of fish stocks in the future.
5. (vi)Agree, however this requires adequate research.
5. (vii) (viii)
and (ix)
Agree.
6. Agree. Consultation must involve all users.
7.Agree.
8.Agree. AAA is particularly interested in the application of the principle added by the Minister about "incorporating net economic worth calculations with supporting socio-economic data" to recreational fishing for species such as tailor and salmon.

The tourism and associated spending of recreational anglers has an enormous actual and potential benefit to the economy, which far outweighs the limited benefits and returns of commercial fishing for these species.
9.AAA does not have enough information to comment on the makeup of the Integrated Fisheries Allocation Council. AAA believes that recommendation 4, "The integrated management system must be open and transparent, accessible and inclusive, flexible, effective and efficient" must apply to the activities of the Council, so that it can be seen that the appointees are impartial and the decisions are soundly based on agreed data.
10.AAA supports the intention of the recommendation, and also agrees with the Minister's comments against the recommendation, provided interested parties have an opportunity to have their views considered before a decision is made on important issues, and the Minister gives adequate details and the reasons for his decisions, as has occurred for this report and for the West Coast and Gascoyne Reviews.
11.States "The Integrated Fisheries Allocation Council be responsible for determining the process and timeframes for resolving allocation issues in each fishery". AAA believes this should be reworded to:-

"IFAC recommends the process the process and timeframes for resolving allocation issues in each fishery, and the Minister decides the terms of reference and timeframes for fishery reviews."
12. AAA notes the Minister's disagreement with the recommendation that "IFAC's recommendations or advice to the Minister for Fisheries should become public at the time it is submitted to the Minister".

AAA also notes the Minister's agreement with the general thrust of recommendation 4, "...the integrated management system must be open and transparent, accessible and inclusive,....."

The Gallop Labor Government was elected on a platform of Open Government, and AAA believes this requires that interested parties have an opportunity to have their views considered before a decision is made on important issues, and the Minister should give adequate details and the reasons for his decisions.
13.Agree.
14.Agree.
15.Agree.
16. (i)Recreational plans for West Coast and Gascoyne have been released recently as recommended. AAA notes that they do not come into effect until 1 July, and urges that early action be taken on other recommendations, particularly 16 (ii), as soon as possible, so that fish saved through restraint by recreational anglers are not lost because of uncontrolled commercial catches.
16 (ii)Agree most strongly. This is one of the most important recommendations, in AAA's view. If it is important to introduce changes to Recreational catches, then it is just as important to review and manage commercial catches as soon as possible.

Any delay or failure to implement this effectively will confirm a view held by some that restrictions on recreational catches are a soft option which are not equitable and which will be ineffective because of uncontrolled commercial catches.
17.AAA agrees with the Minister's comments about the need to be more timely in dealing with allocation issues. Unless allocation issues are resolved in a very short time (and AAA understands this is unlikely for many fisheries) then allowing commercial fishing to maintain their existing catches is unacceptable as detailed above.

AAA believes a precedent for early action has been set with the Mackerel Management Plan, although the one year notice should be reduced.
18.Agree.
19.Agree most strongly that additional funding must be made available for the stated reasons, particularly education and compliance.
20.AAA notes the recent Government statements of policy about Recreational Fishing Licenses. AAA believes the Government now has an obligation to provide all the funds necessary for implementation of the recommendations as quickly as possible, considering how long they have been in development and the pressure claimed to be on fish stocks.

In particular, AAA endorses the Committee's views on the significant social and economic values associated with sustainable fisheries.

An additional source of funds which should be included is from developments which impact on the environment and affect fish or their habitats, or which lead to increased pressure on fish stocks through improved access or increased population.
21.AAA notes the recent Government statements of policy that general Recreational Fishing Licenses will not be introduced by a Gallop Labor Government.





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This page last updated 7 April 2005.