The Downward Staircase For Duck Hunters - The Signs Are Clear

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From Duck Ops Facebook Page 
Recently hunters were greatly disappointed with Govt confirmation, that GMA VICTORIA would not be recommending an extended season in line with new science.
We see the GMA BOARD ratified this position after advice from GMA, on the basis of being conservative, precautionary , and to let ducks recover.. with the undertone it could provide more opportunities next season.
So let’s recap...

1. The science published by Authur Rylah Institute supported the 5 bird bag limit, with a recommended season length of 70-90 days
GMA VICTORIA recommend increasing the bag limit in line with the report, but did not provide the opportunity to hunters of amending the season length..
 
2. Whilst the season length is left at a disgraceful mere 20 days, the AR report science methodology would recommend a daily bag limit of 18 birds per hunter ( based on 2.45 million estimate, a world standard low 10% off-take, 20 day season and 25,500 hunters... We currently only have just over 24,000 licensed.
 
3.  GMA advisors have wanted a more science and evidence based approach. By GMA VICTORIA and it’s board
confirming no extension, they are saying we support science,  but won’t use it.
 
4. The status quo actually only provides hunters an opportunity to hunt for just 25% approx of the off- take quota.... Yes, just one quarter of the recommendation from Arthur Rylah. This is not precautionary... it’s plain sabotage.
 
5. Apparently we cannot start the season sooner, due to GMA VIC not being prepared yet.... We are in the middle of the legislated game bird season..... Our season can be modified or restricted in mere hours, yet cannot commence for weeks ?
 
Looking at the past season parameters it is clear... they will use science when it suits the agenda, and dismiss it when it does not.  This is simply not acceptable.
These are the last 4 seasons.
2018- 87 days, 10 bird bag
2019- 65 days, 4 bird bag
2020 - 38 days,  3 bird bag
2021- 20 days, 2 bird bag, amended to 5 birds
 
2020/21 saw a massive recovery in habitat, a Victoria alone estimate of 2.45 million game ducks, an active La Niña weather pattern, NSW DPI Riverina game bird survey of 470,000 and the best seasonal conditions seen for 10 years.... Yet the outcome is farcical- THE SHORTEST SEASON IN RECORDED HISTORY. ( Not the shortest since 1966 as GMA VICTORIA stated)
 
So who is our real enemy ? Is it the well funded anti hunting lobby groups, or is it members within our regulator and a GMA board stacked with questionable appointments?
 
There are good and fair people within the board, but are there enough to see hunters genuinely being given a unbiased recommendation
 
The warning signs are clear..
This “ DOWNWARD STAIRCASE” is a very slippery slope, and we must fight, lobby and chain Govt decision making back to the facts, science and evidence based data.... That apparently “ we all want “.
These are the same key people who are overseeing the foundations of a Adaptive Harvest Management Plan. After recent developments, it frankly will be almost impossible to have trust in the system. Trust is earned when actions meet words.
 
We have a legislated season, that should only be modified in extreme circumstances... This is clearly not being adhered to.
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