Public consultation is now underway on the draft Victorian Eel Fishery Management Plan.
Fisheries Victoria Executive Director, Travis Dowling, said the draft plan aims to keep the fishery viable, profitable, and sustainable for all users of the resource.
“The plan’s development has been a collaborative effort between commercial eel licence holders, Aboriginal Victorians, and other stakeholders,” Mr Dowling said.
“Victoria’s eel fishery is relatively small at over 300 tonnes in recent times, but is an important exporter worth $3-4 million annually, more when waterway conditions are favourable.
“The catching and processing sectors employ up to 70 people across the State in a good season.
“Eels are also popular amongst a small but active group of recreational anglers who recognise their excellent eating qualities.”
Mr Dowling said the draft plan recognised that eels are of particular importance to Aboriginal people, both personally and communally, given they were traditionally bartered and traded, and to this day are still used for food.
“This is the third Eel Fishery Management Plan that has been developed, following previous ones in 1995 and 2002,” Mr Dowling said.
The draft plan is available online at www.vic.gov.au/fisheries, and submissions must be received by 10 June 2017.
For more information contact the Eel Fishery Manager, Monique Leane, by emailing Monique.Leane@ecodev.vic.gov.au.