DROPPING A LINE: Terry Allwood gets set to fish at Wivenhoe Dam.
DROPPING A LINE: Terry Allwood gets set to fish at Wivenhoe Dam. Keagan Elder

Regulator hooks in to recreational fishers

A PEAK government body wants to place a net over recreational fishers amidst concerns the sector lags behind in sustainable management practices.

But one recreational fisher believes the push has its positives and negatives.

In a draft report released last week, the Productivity Commission called for better management of Australia's fisheries to ensure value and future sustainability.

The report said catch exceeded the commercial take for a number of species but argued that tighter regulations on commercial fishers needed reform.

Boondooma Stocking Group secretary Terry Allwood said he believed regulating the recreation had its limitations, but believed a licensing system would bring more benefits.

"I think, with certain circumstances, there needs to be a bit of a tightening up and a reform done for bag limits, possession and the amount of fish you can take,” Mr Allwood said.

"We've had a few people come out to the dams and catch their fish, dump them and come back for more than is sustainable.

"They're pillaging the system and fisheries struggle to catch them, so a licensing system could definitely benefit that issue.”

The commission report said many recreational fishers were already licensed, but recommended that be expanded to the whole sector nationwide, through a low-cost licensing regime.

Mr Allwood said although a licensing system wouldn't particularly hinder recreational fishers, problems could arise if revenue wasn't put back into the industry.

"Overall it would be a good thing, so long as the revenue went back into the recreation. I don't think most people would mind paying for something that's going to benefit them.”

The report can be found at .pc.gov.au.

South Burnett

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