A SUGGESTION to protect small mako sharks in Victorian waters lauded by the state government has been thrown back, despite early indications that 99 per cent of submissions were in favour of the idea.
Instead, VRFish will run an education and awareness campaign.
Earlier this year, Warrnambool teenager Xavier Ellul came up with the idea of introducing a minimum size to protect small mako sharks.
VRFish supported the proposal and wrote to the Victorian Fisheries Authority, which began public consultation on the introduction of a 120cm minimum size for all mako shark species.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford congratulated Xavier on his suggestion at a ceremony at the Torquay Angling Club on May 17.
At the time, the state government said “most feedback received thus far has been extremely positive of the change, with 99 per cent of submissions indicating support” ahead of the June 8 deadline.
However, last week, VFA chief executive officer Travis Dowling said the proposal “had not been widely supported by anglers and would not proceed”.
“Feedback through the consultation process suggested that an education and awareness campaign would do more for juvenile mako sharks and the survival of released mako sharks.”
He said nearly 200 submissions were received during the public consultation period, and “the overwhelming majority of submissions supported an education campaign rather than regulation”.
“We have listened to the recreational anglers on this proposal and decided that a different path will reach a similar outcome, which is a win-win for anglers and the species.”