Victorian eel fishery management plan
Fisheries Victoria has been working with stakeholders to develop a new Victorian eel fishery management plan. A steering committee advises on the plan's preparation and has met three times. A draft plan will be made available for public comment on this website following their next meeting on 3 May 2017.
This will be the third eel fishery management plan following those declared in 1995 and 2002. The purpose of this plan is to build on the progress made in the previous two plans and ensure the fishery remains viable, profitable and sustainable for all users of the resource.
The development and implementation of this plan is a collaborative process between Fisheries Victoria, Aboriginal Victorians and stakeholders.
The eel resource is shared widely as a consequence of their extraordinary migrations from freshwater habitats to the coral sea where they spawn. From these ocean spawning grounds, larval drift provides recruitment to south eastern Australia, New Zealand and some countries in the south Pacific.
Information on the status and biology of eels is limited and mainly collected from fisheries dependent data on catch and effort and by-catch reporting. However, there is an opportunity to improve this information to ensure the fishery remains sustainable and can continue to meet export demand.
This management plan is a blueprint for future actions to benefit all users of the resource: Indigenous communities, recreational and commercial fishers, including those harvesting from restocked waters. This is reinforced by the key objectives of this plan which provide for:
- Long term sustainability of eel resources:
- ensure the harvest is kept within limits consistent with the long term sustainability of the fishery
- allow fishing for eels in a manner that has minimal ecological impact
- identify priority research and development needs.
- Equitable resource access and use:
- maintain, and where possible improve, access to the fishery for recreational, commercial and indigenous interests, taking existing regulations and legislation relating to access in inland and coastal waters into account.
- Cost effective and participatory management:
- ensure the management of the fishery and the provision of associated services are efficient, effective and responsive
- enable participation by fishers and other relevant stakeholders in fisheries management, taking account of the respective responsibilities of government and fishers.
- Improving economic viability of the fishery:
- exploring opportunities for industry to capitalise on market awareness
- promote a profitable and viable commercial eel fishery.
Each one of these objectives has actions and performance indicators which can be measured to track progress.
For further information about the plan you should contact Monique Leane: Monique.firstname.lastname@example.org.