A recreational fishing licence will not be required by anyone in Victoria on Sunday 16 October, which is Gone Fishing Day across the country.
Executive Director of Fisheries Victoria, Travis Dowling, said the licence exemption would contribute to the State Government’s Target One Million plan for recreational fishing, which aims to increase participation to one million anglers by 2020.
“The licence-free day will help newcomers try fishing for the first time and encourage those people who’ve not wet a line for years to revisit the pastime,” Mr Dowling said.
“We are asking existing fishers to take a friend, family member or neighbour fishing, whether that be from a boat, a pier or along a riverbank.
“Escaping day to day tasks, getting in touch with nature and spending time with the people that matter are all reasons to get outdoors and enjoy a day on the water.
“We know that time spent fishing often strengthens relationships and provides an opportunity to have important conservations in a relaxed and quiet environment, away from modern distractions.
“That’s good for mental health, good for friendships and good for our regional communities that depend on tourism.”
Mr Dowling said Fisheries Victoria and several angling organisations would host events on Gone Fishing Day, including free ‘come and try’ fishing activities at popular spots.
“Fisheries staff will be at Mordialloc Pier on Sunday 16 October to help beginners learn the basics of fishing in Port Phillip Bay.”
Other free Victorian events are listed online at: www.vic.gov.au/gonefishingday
To help angling clubs and community groups get involved in Gone Fishing Day, funding support is available from the Recreational Fishing Small Grants Program or the Stronger Angling Clubs Grants Program.
Applications can be made online at www.vic.gov.au/fisheries