By Ross Winstanley* In July 1862, Victoria’s out-going Inspector of Fisheries and Oyster Beds, James Putwain, wrote a report of his observations of the colony’s commercial fisheries to deputy premier Charles Duffy.  Irish-born Duffy was the Commissioner for Public Works, President of the Board of Land and Works, and Commissioner for Crown Lands and Survey, […]

The peak industry body for commercial fishers in Victoria is Seafood Industry Victoria (SIV).  SIV is funded by a small compulsory fee on all Victorian fishing licences. The Victorian Government recently wrote to Victorian fishers asking if they wanted to continue paying this fee.  Victoria has shut down net fishing in Port Phillip Bay, has […]

Four years ago, AFMA installed cameras on gillnet vessels targeting sharks in the south-east fishery to monitor dolphin and sea-lion interactions. However, a consequence of doing this was that human observers were removed from these vessels.  These observers collected data on interactions with dolphins and seals but also collected lengths and vertebrae, which are used […]

By Ross Winstanley* Not content with their exclusive fishing access to every Victorian estuary, recreational fishers are now pushing for the closure of commercial fishing in the Gippsland Lakes. From the 1960s through the 1980s, Victoria’s annual 800 tonne Gippsland Lakes commercial fishery produced 80% of Australia’s black bream landings, averaging about 250 tonnes. Today, […]

The harvest strategy in the South-East aims to maintain tiger flathead stocks at a pre-determined % of the pre-fishing, or virgin, biomass.   This is called the target reference point.  The flathead stock has been above this target for many years so fishermen have enjoyed quotas (total allowable catches or TACs) designed to slightly reduce flathead […]

From July 1 2018, new Australian Marine Park management plans will come into effect, creating new rules for where fishing can occur in 44 marine parks around the country. Australian Marine Parks are located in Commonwealth waters, 3 to 200 nautical miles from the coastline, beyond state water boundaries. Commercial fishing can occur in yellow and […]