Peel-Harvey buyback scheme extension

In October, 2018, Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly announced a ‘buyback’ scheme – known as a Voluntary Fisheries Adjustment Scheme (VFAS) – for commercial fishing licences in the Peel-Harvey Estuary.

This announcement was welcomed by the recreational fishing community and honoured an important election commitment the McGowan Government made to recreational fishers to allocate more blue swimmer crabs and yellowfin whiting to recreational fishing in the estuary.

Blue swimmer crabs are highly-valued among recfishers in the Peel-Harvey Estuary.

In a recent development, Minister Kelly announced an extension to the VFAS scheme, which will give commercial operators until June 2020 for the opportunity to submit an offer for consideration under the scheme.

At the time of the original deadline for offers in April this year, the broader outcomes of an ongoing management review of the fishery were still unknown.

Recfishwest understand that without this clarity, it was difficult for commercial operators to make a decision to give up a licence through the VFAS scheme.

Given the significant benefit to recreational crabbing and fishing in the Peel-Harvey from a well-subscribed VFAS scheme, we support Minister Kelly’s decision to allow commercial operators more time to give up their licence in light of the management review outcomes.

Recfishwest will continue to keep you updated on further developments in this highly popular recreational fishery.

Scooping for blue swimmer crabs is a popular pastime in the Peel-Harvey Estuary!