This report found that the Department of Primary Industries is not discharging its legislative responsibilities to deliver balanced and sustainable outcomes for freshwater recreational fisheries.
While it is demonstrably delivering improved recreational freshwater fishing outcomes, it is not paying sufficient attention to the protection and conservation of ecological processes, habitats and supporting ecosystems in these fisheries.
DPI's reporting of performance in managing recreational freshwater fisheries is output focused and not comprehensive. It offers little insight into the impact of its activities in managing risks and achieving balanced sustainable outcomes for recreational freshwater fisheries.
In a comprehensive internal review in 2010, DPI identified a range of planning and management issues associated with its current approach to fisheries management. This resulted in the development of a draft fisheries statement that identified the key steps and actions for the improved planning and management of fisheries. While the draft statement addresses the key principles for ecologically and sustainably managed fisheries, the proposed steps and actions are to be implemented only across select commercial and high-risk fisheries.
Consequently, recreational freshwater fisheries will continue to not be managed in the most efficient and effective way to protect fishery resources and habitats for future generations.