NET fishing is now banned in Port Phillip.
In 2014, the state government announced that it would phase out commercial netting in the bay by 2022. The ban came into effect last week.
The Victorian Fisheries Authority website states that 35 of the original 43 net fishers at Port Phillip Bay have left, with eight commercial operators now remaining. Those staying will be directed to not use nets.
The state government has spent $27 million in taxpayer funding on converting the Port Phillip commercial fishing industry to a hook and line snapper fishery. It hopes that fishers will now have access to another 600 tonnes of fish a year after the change.
Fishing and boating minister Melissa Horne said “ending commercial netting in Port Phillip was a promise we made when we were elected eight years ago, and it’s a promise we’ve kept, signalling a bright future for fishing in Victoria”.
“We have listened to recreational fishers who were seeing fewer fish in Port Phillip Bay as a result of commercial trawling and have worked to maintain the right balance between what that sector wants, while still ensuring a robust alternative supply of fresh seafood for Victorians,” Ms Horne said. “We know how important Port Phillip is to recreational fishers which is why we are also investing in better facilities like fish cleaning tables, boat ramps and trailer parking.”
The state government says it will work with Jobs Victoria to support workers affected by the change.