Have your say on Corner Inlet fishery management plan

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COMMERCIAL, recreational and indigenous fishers, seafood consumers and the wider community can now provide feedback on the draft Corner Inlet Fishery Management Plan, released for public consultation.

Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) CEO, Travis Dowling, said the draft plan, the first of its kind for Corner Inlet, sets out objectives, strategies and actions for the fishery over coming years, designed to support effective, efficient and ecologically sustainable management.

“The draft plan has been prepared by the VFA with the assistance of a stakeholder-based steering committee comprised of Seafood Industry Victoria, Corner Inlet commercial fishers, Traditional Owners, VRFish and FutureFish,” Dowling said.

“Corner Inlet supports productive commercial and recreational fisheries for King George whiting, garfish, calamari, flounder, gummy shark and several species of flathead, and we want to keep it thriving for generations to come.

“Corner Inlet’s 18 commercial fishers land a combined average of more than 300 tonnes of seafood annually, worth around $3 million, with the product available to Victorian consumers and upmarket eateries within 24 hours of being caught. The area is also increasingly popular as a recreational fishing destination with scenic views of Wilsons Promontory and year-round fishing within the inlet and offshore.

“The draft plan proposes to establish an ongoing management advisory committee to assemble Corner Inlet’s commercial, recreational and indigenous sectors and enhance the opportunity for fishers to be closely involved in future decision-making.

“Other key proposals include transitioning the commercial fishery to electronic logbooks to support real-time access to catch data, improving access to fresh seafood for consumers through offshore hook and line permits to existing commercial fishers, enhancing local seafood and fishing festivals in the area, adjusting the recreational bag limit for cockles from 5 to 2 litres to better share the resource, and developing a new voluntary Corner Inlet Code of Practice to maintain responsible commercial fishing.”

Dowling said the plan will enhance the reputation of Corner Inlet as a source of high-quality, local seafood for all Victorians and cement it as one of Victoria’s best recreational fishing spots.

The draft plan is available at www.vfa.vic.gov.au/cornerinletplan and feedback should be emailed to Lachlan.Smith@vfa.vic.gov.au by 27 February 2022.

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