On 18 December Premier Mark McGowan announced a reshuffle of his cabinet with Minister Dave Kelly moving out of the Fisheries Portfolio and Minister Peter Tinley stepping into the role.
Dave Kelly had been the Minister for Fisheries since the 2017 election, and his tenure yielded some ground-breaking initiatives that will benefit recreational fishing in this state for years to come.
Minister Kelly oversaw the changes of barra netting from King Sound in Derby after a joint proposal between Recfishwest and WAFIC (Western Australian Fishing Industry Council) that would solve resource sharing issues in proximity to Derby. This was the first time recreational fishing licence money had been used to resolve such a conflict in a specific area, and the decision set a precedent for the way Recfishwest, WAFIC and government can work towards agreed solutions to resource sharing issues.
Minister Kelly also started the process for the Voluntary Fisheries Adjustment Scheme (VFAS) to restore the balance and bring back bigger better crabs 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 restore historic catches of blue swimmer crabs and yellowfin whiting from the commercial sector to the recreational fishing community.
Minister Kelly also helped launch a number of key fishing initiatives including:
- The State’s first state-wide FADs trial
- More barramundi stocked into Lake Kununurra
- Marron stocking into Harvey Dam
- New artificial reefs for Esperance, Exmouth, Perth and Carnarvon
- Support of Recfishwest’s Statewide Fishing Safety Strategy
- Opening cray fishing all year round
- Economic Dimensions of Recreational Fishing in WA – a $2.4 billion industry
- Continued support and funding for Fishability
- Launching the new WA Inland Fisheries Research Advisory Committee
- Opening the South West freshwater fishing season all year
We thank Minister Kelly for his contributions during his time as Minister of the Fisheries Portfolio and wish him the best in his new portfolio.
Recfishwest welcome Minister Tinley into the role of Fisheries Minister and we are sure the positive relationship we currently have with the McGowan government will continue with more positive and innovative ways to ensure West Aussies have safe, accessible, sustainable and enjoyable fishing experiences forever.