Amateur fishing bag limit
In December 1981, as part of a plan of management for the Northern Territory barramundi resource, Cabinet had decided to extend the existing amateur bag limit for barramundi through the introduction of a family bag limit.
The law at the time allowed an individual bag limit of five barramundi per person per day with a maximum of 10 barramundi in possession.
The family bag limit option would be 10 barramundi per day per family with a maximum of 20 barramundi in possession.
The family bag limit for barramundi was originally proposed as part of a scheme requiring amateur licences for barramundi fishing.
The aim was that a family, including small children, would be able to fish under a family licence and not need to take out licences for each individual. At the same time, the family would not be allowed to exceed the family bag limit.
In deciding on measures for inclusion in the barramundi plan of management, Cabinet decided not to implement amateur licences for barramundi fishing but agreed to proceed with the introduction of a family bag limit which would apply to all families engaged in barramundi fishing.
This needed an amendment to the bag limit regulations.
In June 1982, Cabinet received advice through a submission from the Minister for Primary Production that the best way of determining a ‘family’ for the purpose of a bag limit would be to include children under a certain age.
This approach would help reduce abuse of existing bag limits but could give rise to an argument that young anglers would be discriminated against as they would not have the option of being treated as an individual for the purposes of the bag limit.
Similarly, the scheme could be seen as discriminating against two parent families engaged in fishing compared with a family fishing group where only one parent was in attendance.
These technical difficulties suggested that a family bag limit, in the absence of the need for an amateur fishing licence, may not achieve Cabinet’s original intentions.
The submission recommended that Cabinet’s previous approval of a family bag limit for amateur barramundi fishing not be used at that time, and Cabinet accepted this advice.