VRFish joins Portland locals in celebration of Fisheries Act amendment

In a remarkable step forward for conservation and sustainable fishing practices, the Victorian Fisheries Act has been amended to impose significant restrictions on commercial netting, longlines, and the prohibition of yellowtail kingfish fishing in Portland Bay. This groundbreaking move has been widely celebrated by Portland locals, who were vocal in their concerns for the future of the recreational fishing hotspot. Environmentalists and conservationists have also praised the move, as it promises to safeguard the aquatic ecosystems of the region for future generations.

The amendment to the Victorian Fisheries Act marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing effort to balance the economic interests of the fishing industry with the need to protect the marine environment.

The Fisheries (Portland Bay Commercial Fishery) Notice 2023 comes into operation on 16 October 2023.

The change prohibits the use of mesh nets, trawl nets, seine nets and 200 hook long lines in specified waters of Portland Bay at all times and most notably, prohibits the take of yellowtail kingfish in specified waters of Portland Bay by specified commercial fishers to prevent targeting of this species.

Hook and line fishing methods, including a 50-hook long line, can continue to be used by licensed commercial fishers in the specified area. Recreational and cultural fishing, as well as other non-net commercial fishing, including abalone, rock lobster, wrasse and pipi fishing are not impacted by this notice.

The amendments to the Victorian Fisheries Act come with several potential benefits for Portland Bay, which include ecosystem recovery, promotion of sustainable fishing practices, conservation of yellowtail kingfish and enhance the area’s appeal to tourists, nature enthusiasts, and recreational anglers.

The amendment of the Victorian Fisheries Act represents a significant step forward in the pursuit of a balanced and sustainable future for Portland Bay’s marine environment. These changes not only promise a healthier marine ecosystem but also a thriving local recreational fishing industry and a brighter future for all who cherish the beauty of Portland Bay. As VRFish celebrates this momentous occasion, we look forward to witnessing the positive effects these amendments will have on the bay and its surrounding communities.

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