Field & Game Australia is calling for unmodified Duck Seasons for five years from 2017.
In 2015 FGA made a series of recommendations ahead of the 2016 Victorian Duck Season. The season unfolded with a series of emergency closures and management decisions that frustrated hunters and limited opportunity.
The continual modifications to bag limits to address seasonal conditions and regulate the impact of hunting does not address the core issue, that is the reduced availability of wetland habitat as a consequences of highly regulated water management and intensive agriculture.
Our position is unchanged after reviewing the 2016 season and assessing conditions for the 2017 season and beyond, but that is not to suggest that nothing has changed.
One significant change in circumstances relates to climate and its critical impact on habitat availability and breeding in 2016 across southeast Australia.
FGA has again highlighted the gaps in the available science and the need for decisions based on facts and data, avoiding the extreme precaution that comes from decisions made from instinct, intuition or even prejudice.
FGA has made recommendations that will support and grow sustainable and responsible hunting in line with the recently released Victorian Government Sustainable Hunting Action Plan.
Our recommendations, if implemented, would allow for a simpler approach to season setting that enables science and research to flourish and a shift to an adaptive management model for the long term.