The Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) has welcomed the recent Government response to the Review of Commonwealth Fisheries: Legislation Policy and Management (The Borthwick Review). With over 5 million recreational fishers in Australia and an economic contribution estimated at over $10 billion each year, recreational fishers are by far the biggest stakeholder group when considering marine policy and fisheries management.
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The Borthwick Review has provided an essential role in identifying areas for improvement in how we develop policy for our Fisheries and how we manage our Fisheries. Now it is time for the rubber to hit the road and to start work on assessing the implications of these recommendations and how to best implement them in practice.
Allan Hansard, Managing Director of ARFF said 'The Review and the Government’s response quite rightly recognise the essential roles the recreational fishing community has to play in developing good public policy and sustainably managing our fisheries now and in the future. To this end, we are pleased that the Government will be seeking stakeholder and public collaboration on assessing the recommendations and how to implement them. However, this needs to be a genuine stakeholder process.
'ARFF has been disappointed by the Government’s recent Marine Park process where the important management plans for the reserve system were rushed through by Minister Burke to meet the Governments political agenda. There was no genuine consultation with the stakeholders in developing the plans. As a result, we now have plans that will not be durable and lack the essential stakeholder involvement. It has been an example of bad public policy.
'We hope Minister Ludwig is genuine in his commitment to ensure proper stakeholder involvement in progressing the Fisheries Review.'
The Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) is the newly formed national peak body representing Australia’s Recreational Fishing Community and is supported by the Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA), Recfish Australia, Game Fishing Association Australia (GFAA), Sunfish Queensland, Recfishwest, Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW (RFANSW), Underwater Skindivers and Fishermen’s Association (USFA), Australian National Sportfishing Association (ANSA), Professional Fishing Instructors and Guides Association (PFIGA), Victorian Recreational Fishing Peak Body Peak Body (VRFish), Australian Underwater Federation (AUF), Tasmanian Association for Recreational Fishing Inc (TARFish) and Keep Australia Fishing (KAF).