Victorian divers gain protection for Rays

2 weeks 3 days ago - 2 weeks 3 days ago #303609 by AB
AB created the topic: Victorian divers gain protection for Rays
Just 9 months ago, after getting sick of seeing dead and mutilated Rays on nearly every pier dive, passionate diver, PT Hirschfield started a Facebook group "Project Banjo" to highlight the problem and push for change. The closed group of divers swelled quickly, and another group "Rays Awareness" was formed to allow open access to the general public. Distressing to disgusting images were collected and sent to Fisheries and were also published in the broader media. The group soon gained an audience with the head of Fisheries, Travis Dowling, and learned that he would see what he could do to support the cause. The minister, Jaala Pullford became aware of the situation and threw her support behind the group. A petition soon grew to over 30,000 signatures, and the Government proposed protections for the Rays and put it out for a period of public comment.

Somewhat surprisingly, the major fishing groups got behind the proposal, and even suggested tougher protections. The feedback from fishers was also pro ray! Yesterday, the government, though the Victorian Fisheries Authority, announced a raft of new protections for Victorias Rays, including a 400 metre exclusion zone around any man made structure. This signals a giant win for the group, and in an amazingly short time. It is a landmark decision to introduce protections primarily to satisfy public concern, but also signifies the start of a new era in the way governments look at the broader treatment of all critters. The groups of divers and ray supporters are elated at the moment, but also aware that there is more work to do. They have shown that passionate groups can make a difference.

Go to www.premier.vic.gov.au/more-protection-f...s-skates-and-banjos/ for the official announcement.

Alan
(disclaimer: I work for the VFA, but had no part in the process towards the new regulations)
Last Edit: 2 weeks 3 days ago by AB.

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