WA recreational fishers reminded about new licence


$30 recreational licence required to fish from powered vessels as of March 2

Recreational fishers in regional Western Australia are reminded that they will need a new licence if they intend to fish from a powered vessel as of next Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The new licence will cost $30 annually, and according to the Government it will help establish an invaluable database of boat-based recreational fishers, which will be used to more accurately estimate the number of people fishing, where they are fishing, and what they are catching.

Department of Fisheries Principal Management Officer, Nathan Harrison, said the new Recreational Fishing from Boat Licence (RFBL) would allow for better estimation of recreational catches.

"This is the first time information that will be available on a State-wide scale on an ongoing basis," Harrison said. "In some areas, fishing is only undertaken on a recreational basis, and it’s vital that we have good information on what rec-fishers are catching, to assist in evaluating the success of various management strategies," he said.

Over 50,000 Western Australians already take out licences for specific activities like recreational taking of rock lobsters, marron and abalone fishing, as well as net and freshwater fishing.

Harrison said licensing had helped in the effective management of these fisheries and it was now time for the system to cover boat-based fishing.

"By taking out a licence, recreational fishers are making an investment in protecting the future quality of recreational fishing," he said. "Funds from the new licence fee will be spent solely on initiatives relating to recreational fishing."

Harrison said recreational fishers using a powered boat, to undertake any general fishing activities from a boat anywhere in the State, would need the RFBL.

"If you fish from a kayak or dingy, or other vessel without a motor, you won’t need the new RFBL," he said. "Fishers without a licence will still be entitled to fish from a boat, if they are in the company of someone who does, and they only fish within the licence holder’s bag limit."

Until March 2, recreational fishers can personally apply at Department of Fisheries offices to obtain a receipt for payment of the licence. From next Tuesday, licences can be purchased from Australia Post outlets, or online. Visit www.fishforthefuture.com.au for more information.

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