19 Jan 2017
Port Augusta recreational fishers met with state Liberal MLC Andrew McLachlan to voice concerns about recent changes to recreational fishing rules.
Some of the recent changes to recreational fishing are hurting Port Augusta recreational fishers and diminishing the lure for visitors to visit Port Augusta for fishing.
That’s the view of the Secretary of the Port Augusta Coastal Homes Association Robin Sharpe, which follows new rules for recreational fishing for South Australia that came into effect on December 1, 2016.
Mr Shrarpe’s concerns regard the new arrangements for King George Whiting, which the state government said are ‘to improve the stock status of one of the state’s most iconic and popular species’.
These include state-wide changes to bag limits, introduction of spatial spawning closure from May 1-31 and an increased legal minimum size limit to 32 centimetres in all waters East of Cape Catastrophe on the tip of the Eyre Peninsula.
Previously, the legal minimum size limit was 31cm, while waters West of Cape Catastrophie, the size limit will remain at 30cm.
Mr Sharpe and other recreational fishers met with state MLC Andrew McLachlan, a member of the state Legislative Review Committee.
They pleaded their case in an attempt to realign the size limit of King George Whiting to the same size of the West Coast.
“The size of Kinge George Whiting in this area is very small and has been traditionally for many years,” Mr Sharpe said.
“And it’s pretty hard to put us in the same boat as Kangaroo Island which has 40-50cm Whiting down.
“It really makes it very hard for people up this way to catch a legal-sized fish.”
Mr Sharpe said his calls come from an interest in fairness and to attract more recreational fishers to Port Augusta.
Mr McLachlan said the visit to Port Augusta was to hear first-hand what local concerns are in relation to recreational fishing
“It’s important for city-based members of parliament to understand intimately the concerns of individuals, especially technical issues,” Mr McLachlan said.
“We’re going to listen to the concerns today and also try to organise them to come to Adelaide to give evidence.
“So it’s more than just ourselves understanding what the issues are, which plays into a broader concern the liberal party has for the regions and making them successful – both economically and sustainable.”
MEETING: State Member for Davenport Sam Duluk, Port Augusta Coastal Homes Association Robin Sharpe and state MLC Andrew McLachlan at the meeting held on January 18.