Status Quo Win For Victorian Tuna Fishers

VRFish have landed a massive win for Victorian fishers who enjoy our fantastic Southern bluefin tuna (SBT) fishery.

The Commonwealth Government’s Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries, Jonathon Duniam has confirmed there will be no changes to Victoria’s SBT recreational bag or size limits following the preliminary results of the 2019 National SBT recreational catch survey.

VRFish strongly advocated for and represented Victorian fishers to negate any threat of bag or size limit changes for SBT. The result is great news for fishers as we can continue to enjoy our superb SBT fishery exactly as it is now.

The 2019 National SBT recreational catch survey was conducted by world leading experts from the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Aquatic Studies and was found to be comprehensive and scientifically robust. 

The survey demonstrates that the SBT recreational fishery in Victoria has evolved into a more mature and sophisticated fishery. As SBT are virtually catchable year-round, we have observed a shift in fishers behaviour from retained catch towards quality recreational fishing experiences, including targeting larger fish, higher release rates and better-quality table eating fish.

Our SBT fishery is in a great space as fishers are embracing the best practice principles of the Tuna Champions program. The small changes that fishers make while fishing for SBT make a big difference.

VRFish have been able to develop effective working relationships with the Commonwealth, fishery managers and researchers and appreciate the outstanding support of our national peak body, the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation.

It has been outstanding to have to support of the Victorian Government and Minister for Fishing and Boating, Jaala Pulford in the ongoing promotion of our world-class fishery. The status quo for tuna bag and size limits enable the Victorian Government to tick off another election commitment of the Target One Million Phase 2 program.

It’s no surprise that Portland remains the SBT fishing capital of Victoria. Recreational fishing for SBT is estimated to contribute as much as $9-million to Portland’s economy alone and delivers enormous economic benefit to our regional south west towns.

Related resources:

Final Report – National Survey of Recreational Fishing for Southern Bluefin Tuna in Australia in 2018/19

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