Management Snapshot - Mallacoota Inlet
The first assessment of the fishery in Mallacoota Inlet since commercial fishing ended was held in February this year. For decades, local and visiting anglers and tourism interests pushed for commercial fishing to be removed from the inlet.
These approaches were rejected as fisheries assessments indicated that the combined commercial and recreational fishing pressure was sustainable and creel surveys showed that angler catch rates were comparable to popular recreational fisheries elsewhere around Australia.
Of the eight commercial operators licensed to fish in the inlet in 2000, the voluntary buyout of commercial bay and inlet commercial fishing licences removed four who had accounted for 42% of the total commercial catch during the previous five years.
An assessment of the fishery in 2001 found that the total annual catch was relatively stable and that combined commercial and recreational fishing pressure continued to be sustainable.
Despite this, pressure to remove commercial fishing continued. New marine parks were being proclaimed around the coast and New South Wales was declaring 20 inlets as recreational fishing havens...