Fishers are left reeling
RECREATIONAL anglers are in the sights of LNP cost cutting, with the State Government axing further programs and services designed to assist this section of the industry.
The future of Sunfish, the peak representative body for leisure fishers, is in jeopardy after annual funding was cut.
Also in limbo, since its funding was removed, is research program Suntag, which had been operating since the 1970s and did so on a meagre $55,000 each year.
The announcements are already attracting criticism from recreational anglers in the Fraser Coast and follow reports last week that valuable educational service Fishcare Volunteers was to be axed on November 1.
Sunfish Fraser Coast chairman Scott Mitchell described the funding cuts as disappointing and suggested that without money being directed to fishing the industry would begin to suffer.
"Sun tag is the biggest, most comprehensive recreational fishing tagging program ever done in the world, it is the longest running tagging project in the world and (the government) has axed the $55,000 funding, which is all it cost to run that thing," Mr Mitchell said.
"To go and axe that program is a disgrace."
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said budgetary constraints had forced the cuts.
Mr McVeigh confirmed the Suntag program received just $55,000 in funding from Fisheries Queensland last year.
He claimed while tagging programs were useful they did not provide information critical to assessments of fish stocks.