Stop The Carping And Get On With It!

VRFish, the peak body representing Victorian recreational fishers, is deeply concerned the once in a lifetime opportunity through the National Carp Control Plan (NCCP) to address the ecological destruction caused by carp has lost political momentum and critical funding.

VRFish Chairman, Mr. Rob Loats, said “We are alarmed and frustrated the development of the National Carp Control Plan has been completely derailed and timeframes blown out for another 12 months due to needed research funding shortfalls.”

Noxious European carp are ‘rabbits’ of our rivers and continue to impact heavily on freshwater fish populations, riverine ecosystem health and in general continue to cause immense environmental degradation.

“The Federal Government must treat carp as a serous noxious aquatic pest and fast track the needed funding to complete the research and stop playing political games.”

“We need scientific answers as soon as possible, not prolonged funding excuses.”

VRFish wrote to Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud in June with concerns about a funding shortfall and asked for $4.24. million set aside for implementation of the plan to be allocated to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation to complete the NCCP.

“The previous Federal Agriculture Minister made it very clear carp control was a very high priority and guaranteed funding to tackle the issue to provide the research answers.”

Fishers are also becoming extremely impatient that information exchange and opportunities for recreational fishers to engage in the development of the plan have also dried up.

“Fishers regularly contact us with their questions and concerns about the potential carp virus introduction and the subsequent clean-up program and all we can offer is to direct them to a website,” he said.

VRFish will continue to advocate for the development of a NCCP as a once in a lifetime opportunity to boost our native freshwater fish populations and give our struggling waterways a chance to recover.

This once again demonstrates the value of having a strong and independent Recreational Fishing Peak Body in Victoria who is planning for the future success of fishing and sustainability of our inland fisheries.

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