A NEW program was today launched to further develop responsible recreational fishing of southern bluefin tuna.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston launched the Tuna Champions Program at Hobart’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. “This initiative will work to improve stewardship, fish handling and responsible fishing practices in the SBT recreational sector,” Minister Ruston said. “Sustainability, sharing and safeguarding of our fisheries should be a key priority.”
Ahead of World Tuna Day on Wednesday, Minister Ruston said the Tuna Champions Program is aimed at ensuring the long-term sustainability of the SBT fishery.
“The government welcomes the active role of recreational fishing in promoting sustainable fishing and marine resource management practices through its role in community education and awareness,” Minister Ruston said. “We want recreational fishers to use the best practice for catch and release and that they are aware of methods to ensure that their retained catch is of the highest quality. SBT is an iconic species that we need to preserve for generations to come.
“Recreational fishing is an important past-time for many Australians — there are 3.4 million rec fishers in Australia who can each play their own role.”
SBT is classified as a conservation dependent species under the Commonwealth’s EPBC Act and subject to an international recovery plan.