In May 2011, representatives for the Iluka Recreational Fishers went to Sydney to meet Government representatives at Parliament House over the enlargement of the Clarence River RFA. We were told that the Clarence was the third on the list for consideration. Now, in 2018, we are still waiting! A representative for the Shooters and Fishers Party, Hon Minister Brown was present and sympathetic to our cause. Also present was our local member, Chris Gulaptis, who was very supportive unlike Steve Cansdell. We put our concerns about our decline in fishing in the Clarence River.
The decline was then about 50%. Interestingly, commercial fishers did not step up and show concern about this, despite being aware of this decline in their own fishery, why? Is it about money.
In the meeting, we said that better management of commercial and recreational fishing needs to take place. Recent Government reforms have gone part way to achieving this, but the fishing is not getting better.
Recreational fisheries see decline every day; 50% in 2011 and a further 50% since then. This result is loss of local services as people go elsewhere to spend their money.
How long do we have to wait to see changes for the better? Inaction will surely see the demise of small villages like Iluka.
Tom Weiers, Iluka