Gippsland Lakes Destined to be Great Again

VRFish, the peak body representing Victorian recreational fishers, is ecstatic that a re-elected Labor Government has committed to a compulsory buy-out of all Gippsland Lakes commercial netting licences by 2022.

Labor have listened to the voices of the recreational fishing community and recognised the immense value of phasing out commercial licences for the benefit of recreational fishers, the local economy and the health of the Lakes.

VRFish called for a fair and respectful compulsory buy-out of the commercial licences as part of its 2018 State Election Policy Platform, recognising the buy-out as vital to recovering fish stocks and improving recreational fishing opportunities in the Lakes.

VRFish Chairman, Rob Loats, stated “Gippsland Lakes is an iconic fishery and is the life-blood of the Gippsland Lakes community. Unfortunately, it can no longer sustain both recreational and commercial fishing.”

A compulsory buy-out of commercial fishing licences is a key component in rebuilding the Gippsland Lakes Fishery. Together with habitat enhancement and a review of current fisheries management, the buy-out destines Gippsland Lakes to become the iconic, productive fishery that it once was.

A productive and thriving fishery will inspire fishers to return to the Lakes and provide a boost to the economy for the smaller towns in the Gippsland area.

Mr Loats encourages the Coalition to show their support for the Gippsland Lakes fishery and regional economy, noting that “VRFish along with the Gippsland Lakes fishing community eagerly await a response from the Coalition.”

VRFish developed their Election Policy based on the priorities of Victorian recreational fishers. This demonstrates the benefit of having a strong and independent peak body.

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