In response to discussion on social media relating to the taking of rock lobster by divers, Recfishwest would like to put forward our position on the matter.
Recfishwest believe that people diving for crays must be afforded the same rules as those who use pots and be given a reasonable opportunity of 5 minutes to sort their catch when they return to the boat.
This would allow divers to accurately check for spawning conditions such as fine hairs on setose lobster whilst out of the water.
It is the view of Recfishwest that within the bounds of sustainability and in order to maximise recreational fishing experiences, management arrangements for this recreational-only component of the fishery should have significant input from the users themselves.
We always believed there has to be a better way to resolve this case than through the legal system simply to satisfy the legislative curiosity of a government Department. We’ve been calling on the Division of Fisheries to work with the community to clarify the rules on this matter over the last year.
If the law does not clearly state how you are allowed to fish then it is not a good law and needs to be changed – it’s as simple as that.
Recfishwest has written to Minister Kelly requesting changes to this regulation prior to the start of the 2017/18 Rock Lobster season.
If you’d like to listen to what Recfishwest’s CEO Dr Andrew Rowland had to say on ABC South Coast on July 7, 2017, click the link below.