SECTOR CHANGES: Daniel Powell with a tripletail fish he caught in the Gladstone region.
SECTOR CHANGES: Daniel Powell with a tripletail fish he caught in the Gladstone region. Contributed

Gladstone's recreational fishers could pay licence fee

RECREATIONAL fisherman Daniel Powell would be happy to pay for a licence to fish if it means more cash would be spent on fishing facilities.

The Gladstone fish tagger said he agreed with the measure recommended by a Productivity Commission draft report on Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture.

The report, released last week, outlined the critical management of recreational fishing across the industry.

One of its recommendations was to implement recreational fishing licences in all states and territories to allow for better monitoring of the sector.

Avid fisherman Mr Powell said he would support the move if it was a similar set up to New South Wales and Victoria, where the revenue is spent on fishing facilities.

"Personally I think fishing licences should come in," Mr Powell said.

"The revenue gained through licences should be spent on projects for recreational fishing, be it restocking, boat ramp upgrades or enforcement officers."

However he could understand why some fishermen would oppose it.

"An added cost isn't what people want right now, especially when it's been free to fish for so long now."

Commissioner Melinda Cilento said there was an attitude "of almost benign neglect" towards recreational fishing from regulators, despite the fact that technology like cheap locating sonars had the recreational catch now exceed the commercial catch for some species.

She also said that despite the rising interest in recreational fishing, the nation didn't "have a handle on how overall participation is changing or how the level of catch is changing in most areas", which made it difficult to make decisions on how to improve management of the sector.

The commissioner said most commercial fisheries were managed primarily through the controls over fishing methods, and said this was a "relatively inefficient way of meeting catch constraints".

It believes the sector should move to a default position of applying transferable quota systems.

Queensland Fisheries Minister Leanne Donaldson said she believed the report supported the aims of the State Government's fisheries Green Paper, which was open for public submissions until September 30.

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