Stay safe on water this long weekend

Guy Barnett,Minister for Primary Industries and Water

This long weekend will be a great chance for Tasmanian fishers and boaties to get back on the water at their favourite launching and fishing spots.

The Tasmanian Government appreciates the patience of our fishers and boaties, and also shack owners, who have been mostly grounded at their principal residence during the coronavirus travel restrictions.

These restrictions were implemented by Public Health to help protect more vulnerable populations in our coastal townships.

Tasmanians rallied magnificently and stuck to the rules which in turn gave Public Health and Government the confidence to relax travel restrictions early to allow unrestricted intrastate travel and boating.

The recreational scallop season also opened at 3pm yesterday and will run through until November 30 which is great news for the more than 3000 licenced Tasmanians who love to dive for fresh scallops.

Tasmania has more than 106,000 recreational fishers who make a major contribution to the economy of about $160 million a year and we appreciate the advocacy of the peak recreational anglers group TARFish.

I’m sure many of our more popular destinations are going to see an influx of visitors from today so it remains vitally important that anglers and boaties use their common- sense at boat ramps and still observe distancing rules.

Many boaties probably haven’t used their vessels for several weeks so please make sure you check safety equipment and life jackets thoroughly. MAST also advises that recommended capacity limits on boats should be strictly followed.

Coastal and regional towns will also be delighted to see visitors back in their shops and buying fuel locally to help support these communities, but remain vigilant with your hygiene and hand-washing rules to protect everyone.

Tasmania has some of the best boating, fishing and holiday destinations in the world, so get out there and enjoy a bit more freedom this long weekend and support local businesses and jobs in regional communities.

/Public Release. View in full here.