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Local bait a bonanza for Victorian anglers

by Tom Whitty 5 Jan 08:32 UTC

Victorian recreational anglers can look forward to buying more locally sourced bait thanks to a family owned fishing business that is investing in a new plant already under construction at Lakes Entrance.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford was in Lakes Entrance yesterday and met with Mitchelson Fisheries who are set to expand their current bait producing facility, providing an additional three jobs. The new plant will provide an economic boost for the East Gippsland fishing region and enable Mitchelson Fisheries to supply Victorian anglers with more than 300 tonnes of individually quick frozen pilchards annually.

Pilchards, also known as Australian sardines, are a popular bait amongst saltwater anglers for snapper, flathead and tailor. Mitchelson Fisheries is a family run business and the biggest supplier of fresh Victorian pilchards. Gippsland's pristine offshore waters yield 2,500 tonnes of sardines and anchovies annually, significantly more than the 230 tonnes caught in Port Phillip. Mitchelson Fisheries operate several vessels across the fishing industry including purse seine and inshore trawl, distributing fresh fish to various markets in Australia and New Zealand.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford

"Mitchelson's new individually quick frozen pilchards is good news for the regional economy of Lakes Entrance and good news for the growing number of recreational fishers who want quality bait from local waters. This will now mean anglers across Victoria will have access to premium bait and it's great news for a local Lakes Entrance business that is working hard to meet an increasing demand."

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