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Alex's Fishing Column 13/8/20

With the NT election just over a week away, it’s timely that the Amateur Fishermen’s Association NT (AFANT) has released the responses from the three major parties to an important series of questions in respect of the future of recreational fishing in the NT.

AFANT is the peak body representing recreational fishing across the Territory and confirmed that it has received commitments from the major parties in support of many of the policies put forward to ensure a bright fishing future in the NT.

David Ciaravolo, AFANT CEO, said: "The Territory’s three major parties have each provided a comprehensive response to 24 questions posed in the AFANT 2020 Election Policy Questionnaire, with each party also supporting recreational fishing through the release of their own recreational fishing policy document.

"AFANT is proud of our work to ensure that our community’s vision for an exciting and inclusive fishing future has been largely supported by those contending to lead the Territory.

“With thousands of members and 30,000 constituents from all walks of life, at AFANT we understand there is no ‘typical’ recreational fisher; there are, however, a range of values and policy matters that are essential to supporting NT fisheries and to ensuring high-quality fishing experiences are maintained into the future,” David said.

AFANT President, Warren de With, said: "AFANT will continue to engage with all parties to ensure confirmed positions on all key policy areas, especially on ensuring water for our environment and iconic Top End rivers.

"We will never tell people how to vote and we are committed to working with any future Government to ensure that our shared vision for a bright fishing future becomes a reality,” Warren explained.

I had a good read of the questions and answers supplied, and I must say it’s all feel-good stuff, and hard not to like.

There’s not really that much difference separating the intended recreational fishing policies of the three parties.

One they all agreed strongly with was the promotion of fishing tourism; and boy don’t we need that in great big lumps given the current pandemic crisis.

It was also good news that all three parties confirmed they would continue the Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee if elected to Government.

One thing I would say is that several of the policies committed to by the three major parties would cost a bucket load over the next few years.

Given the Territory’s current suffering economy, and that the $50 million promised for recreational fishing development at the last election was largely thrown out the door due to the huge Territory debt and the dollars needed for Covid-19, it’s hard to imagine how all of the more-expensive promises could be paid for, no matter which party or combined parties win Government.

Anyway, the AFANT 2020 Election Policy Questionnaire and the answers are definitely worth a read.

The document is available at


Rohan Walker caught this fairly-uncommon Top End fish: the bludger trevally.


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