The Victorian Government is delivering on its commitment to invest in science and habitat restoration in the Gippsland Lakes, with the release of a plan to safeguard the future of one of the state’s key fisheries.
Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne unveiled the draft Gippsland Lakes Recreational Fishery Plan and called on local residents and businesses to have their say on the proposal, which will help return the lakes to a recreational fishing mecca.
Earlier this year commercial netting was removed from the Gippsland Lakes, paving the way for the plan and delivering a key commitment of the Government’s $35 million Target One Million project.
The last of the 10 commercial licences finished in April, handing back the fishery to recreational users.
By improving habitat, installing artificial reefs, increasing stocks and consulting on bag and size limits, the plan will help accelerate the recovery of key species such as black bream and dusky flathead.
Recreational fishing contributes $380 million to the Gippsland economy each year and the plan will improve catch rates and fish stocks, leading to better fisher satisfaction and more tourism.
A steering committee will also be established once the plan is finalized, to oversee its implementation and a subsequent review after five years.
The draft plan will be released for public comment for a period of six weeks and is available at vfa.vic.gov.au/gippslandlakes.
As stated by Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne
“We’ve made the first steps in revitalising the Gippsland Lakes by removing commercial netting, and this plan will build on that work to get more people fishing, more often.”
“The lakes are an iconic destination for fishers around the state and with improved habitat and more stocking there will be better fishing on offer and more fish to catch.”
As stated by Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Gippsland residents and businesses to have their say on how this beautiful area should be managed going forward.”
“Fishing is a major contributor to tourism in Gippsland and making the lakes more accessible for recreational fishers will provide an economic boost to the entire region.”