Operation TEMPUS, a major enforcement operation on Corio Bay, begins today to ensure all commercial and recreational fishers are aware of Victoria’s fisheries regulations and are obeying bag limits and legal catch sizes.
The compliance activity also coincides with the start of a major survey of recreational fishing activity in the popular Corio Bay area.
Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh said the Operation would see Fisheries Victoria officers out in force on the water and at boat ramps during the summer to carry out inspections and educate fishers about the Victoria’s fisheries laws.
'As part of Operation TEMPUS our Fisheries Victoria officers will intensify monitoring of commercial and recreational fishing in Corio Bay to ensure all fishers are fully compliant with the law,' Mr. Walsh said.
'On top of these compliance activities, Operation TEMPUS will also have a strong education focus which includes setting up the Fisheries Victoria marine education trailer at popular recreational boat ramps.
'The operation will remind people about the need to fish sustainability and responsibly in Corio Bay and surrounding waters.
'While the vast majority of fishers understand and comply with Victoria’s fisheries laws, our fisheries officers play a critical role in educating the community and combating illegal fishing through their enforcement activities.'
Member for South Barwon Andrew Katos said the education and enforcement actions would be complemented by an $80,000 survey of recreational fishing activity in Corio Bay over summer.
'The survey will involve talking to fishers at boat ramps to assess the boat-based recreational catch and effort in the Corio and Outer Corio areas of Port Phillip Bay,'
Mr. Katos said. 'It will then enable the Department of Environment and Primary Industries to model and compare the recreational catch with the commercial catch over the last 12 years.'
Mr. Katos was last week onboard one of three new Victorian Government patrol boats which will strengthen Fisheries Victoria’s capacity to carry out enforcement activities this summer.
'The rigid hull inflatable vessel, which can travel at speeds of up to 45 knots (about 83 kilometers an hour), is based at Altona and will playing a key role in Fisheries Victoria’s enforcement activities on Port Phillip Bay,' Mr. Katos said.
If you see or suspect illegal fishing, call the 24-hour offence hotline 13 FISH (13 3474).
by Vic Coalition
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12:05 PM Wed 1 Jan 2014GMT
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