AFTA slams Victorian government over fishing ban

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THE Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA) has called on the Victorian government to immediately allow recreational fishing across the state, whilst observing the national social distancing rules.

In a Facebook post, AFTA Chair Bob Baldwin said: “Victoria is out of step with the rest of Australia in being the only state to have banned recreational fishing and the impact is being felt across the whole of the recreational fishing sector.”

“Whilst the government has done a commendable job in reducing the spread of COVID-19, now is the time to look at relaxing restrictions on recreational fishing.

“Qld, NSW & WA have now announced they are implementing further small changes to relax social gathering as they understand recreational fishing helps deal with personal issues of mental health and lack of exercise resulting from self-isolation," Baldwin said.

AFTA says there is no logical explanation as to why tennis, kayaking, surf skiing are deemed acceptable exercise and yet recreational fishing is not when all other Australian states provide an exemption for recreational fishing under schedules of “obtaining food” and “exercise”.

“Victoria once held up as the “benchmark state” for recreational fishers has now lost its mantle.” Baldwin said.

“AFTA calls on the Victorian government to immediately allow recreational fishing in Victoria.”

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