scot-ttuna-in-close2The Victorian Fisheries Authority is delighted a comprehensive compliance operation during this year’s Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT) season revealed a high level of compliance among recreational fishers.

During the season Operation Endeavour targeted the recreational harvest of SBT along the western Victorian coast, with the focus on Portland and Port Fairy.

Portland-based Fisheries Officer, Cameron McCallum said the aim of the operation was to closely monitor compliance of recreational boat based fishers and charter boats involved in recreational tuna fishing to ensure they were fishing sustainably and responsibly.

“We deployed 16 Fisheries Officers from across the state during the operation, along with two Fisheries patrol vessels, aerial surveillance and covert monitoring,” Mr McCallum said.

“We conducted inspections at boat ramps and on the high seas with 89 fishers checked on the water and more than 250 back in port, including 19 inspections of charter vessels.

“Happily, we only detected a small number of offences, with failing to retain SBT in carcass form and fishing without a recreational licence the main ones found.

“This is very good news because SBT are a priority species in Victoria and afforded extra levels of protection given their status in the wild. It also demonstrates that tuna fishers are fishing responsibly.”

Anyone who sees or suspects illegal fishing activity is urged to call the 24 hour reporting line 13 FISH (13 3474).