Susan Ridings at Drift tackle and takeaway.
Susan Ridings at Drift tackle and takeaway. John Gass

Fishers say new proposals are bizarre and very strange

FISHING in the Tweed needs incentives, not more legislation.

That's the view of Drift Tackle and Takeaway Tweed Heads West co-owner Susan Ridings, who thinks the NSW Department of Primary Industries proposed recreational fishing rule changes may discourage some amateur fishermen and women from throwing in a line.

Primary Industries released a discussion paper citing the changes earlier this year and the closure date for public submissions for or against the discussed amendments was extended from today to August 31.

"The more they encourage fishing, the better it is for us," Mrs Ridings said.

"Hopefully it won't particularly affect us, it is a bit harsh on some of the offshore sizes though, considering how much it can cost to get out on the water.

That's very strange...really quite bizarre. I don't see what the clause is actually there for.

"As far as we're concerned though nothing like that (proposed rule changes) is great."

Mrs Ridings said possession limits included in the discussion paper, which include total fish possessed at home, was a peculiar strategy that would be prohibitively difficult to enforce.

"That's very strange...really quite bizarre," she said.

"I don't see what the clause is actually there for."

Drift has been providing submission forms to fishermen and women, but it seems most are left untouched as people are seemingly unaware of the discussion paper and the implications the rules review may have.

The store's Facebook page also has several posts about the paper, attracting few responses.

"I've put a few posts on the page but they didn't get much of a response," she said.

"I don't think a lot of people are really told what's happening.

"A lot of the time it doesn't make a difference though, they'll go ahead anyway."

Mrs Ridings also hoped small cost increases for fishing licenses would not affect Drift's business, but was optimistic Tweed would remain a popular fishing destination.

The discussion paper can be found at dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/recreational/info/review and submissions can also be lodged through the website.

Primary Industries said they are responsible for managing fish stocks and the rules review would ensure recreational fishing remains sustainable.

"The NSW Government is committed to the sustainable use of our aquatic resources and promoting quality recreational fishing opportunities," their website states.

Bag and possession limits, size limits and fishing methods are all subjects of the paper.

- What do you think about the proposed changes? Have your say in the comments section below.



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