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Author Topic: AFANT submission supports the Mary staying open  (Read 1444 times)

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AFANT submission supports the Mary staying open
« on: October 01, 2014, 11:18:06 PM »
AFANT submission supports the Mary staying open
Sep 19th - Amateur Fishermen's Association of the Northern Territory

The Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the NT (AFANT) has fully supported the proposed changes to the Barramundi Management Plan to Remove the Mary River Seasonal Closure for Recreational Anglers in our submission provided to the NT government fisheries division today.

We see this as an important opportunity to further enhance the access and opportunities for recreational fishing over the buildup and early wet season to this iconic barramundi fishing area.

In supporting these changes we have pointed out that this has been a long standing priority for the recreational sector. We are firmly of the view that the changes in attitudes that have resulted in a high rate of catch and release angling, particularly for large barramundi, along with proactive and careful management of the barramundi stocks mean that these changes will have minimal effect on the sustainability of the resource .

The combination of retaining the current recreational possession limits on barramundi in the Mary River of three fish per person, combined with the recent removal of all commercial barramundi fishing in Chambers and Finke Bays has significantly reduced the harvest effort from this system. We believe these efforts will see an improvement to the stocks in the Mary River, Chambers and Finke Bays from an already relatively healthy level.

AFANT also supports other management options going forward to ensure the Mary River area continues to be recognised as a world class recreational fishing destination. We see that this reputation will only be enhanced into the future as the fish stocks improve.

The AFANT submission has outlined that we would like to see the consideration of measures to be introduced like maximum sizes and vessel limits as outlined in the AFANT code of conduct for the Mary River.

One of the other benefits we believe will be achieved with the removal of the closed season on the Mary River is the reduction in effort in other areas that are currently open to recreational fishing all year.

AFANT has committed to working with fisheries to ensure the required stock assessment information and research is available to manage the Mary River and Chambers and Finke Bays recreational only fishery, including ensuring catch and effort data and fish tagging is undertaken.

AFANT looks forward to the removal of the closed season on the lower Mary River and we believe the changes should be made as soon as possible.
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