There are over 700,000 recreational fishers in Victoria, many of whom fish in rivers, lakes and estuaries. Unfortunately, many Victorian waterways have undergone dramatic reductions in health, largely due to modifications of flow regimes and habitat degradation. This has reduced fish populations and adversely affected recreational fishing opportunities. Victorian recreational fishers are continually becoming more aware of the benefits of improving fish habitat. Over the past decade, fishers have invested more than $3 million of Victorian recreational fishing licence trust funds in fish habitat rehabilitation projects, including the Victorian Fishers for Fish Habitat Program.
In 2012, ARI, VRFish and Fisheries Victoria become partners to the Australia-wide Fish Habitat Network. The Fish Habitat Network focusses on 'making more fish naturally' by improving habitat that fish need to survive and reproduce. The Victorian Fish Habitat Network partners successfully obtained funds to establish the Victorian Fishers for Fish Habitat Program. This program enables Victorian recreational fishers to more actively contribute and benefit from the Fish Habitat Network.
The program is being coordinated by ARI and aims to:
- raise awareness of the Fish Habitat Network and the critical role of habitat condition on recreational fishing outcomes among recreational fishers
- facilitate collaboration between recreational fishing organisations and Fisheries Victoria, Catchment Management Authorities and other resource managers to apply and secure funds for fish habitat related projects
- encourage fisher involvement in on-ground actions to improve fish habitat
For more information on this program, or to find out how to be involved in its activities, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Renae on (03) 9450 8600