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Boating & Fishing Coronavirus Restrictions: Melbourne and regional Victoria

Stage 4 restrictions update:

From 6pm 2 August 2020, metropolitan Melbourne moved to Stage 4 restrictions with stronger rules to limit the movement of people.

From today, boat ramps and jetties across Metropolitan Melbourne are closed to all forms of recreational boating and fishing.

Commercial shipping, commercial boating, land, port and waterway management functions and emergency access are exempt from these restrictions.

Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions will come into effect in regional Victoria from 11.59pm Wednesday 5 August. This includes the Mitchell Shire, where Stage 3 Stay at Home Restrictions will remain in effect.

In regional Victoria, recreational activities such as boating and fishing are allowed under Stage 3 Stay at Home Restrictions, and boat ramps and jetties will remain open.

Everyone must wear a face covering when they leave home, unless an exception applies. For more information visit: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/face-coverings-covid-19

These activities should be undertaken with one other person and a distance of 1.5m must be maintained between participants.

To stay up to date with the latest health advice from the Department of Health and Human Services: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

Boating and fishing on the Murray River and Lake Mulwala

NSW has updated its Murray River maritime rules to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The NSW border starts from the high water mark on the Victorian side of the Murray River and includes most navigable waters within Lake Mulwala.

People currently in Victoria who intend to enter NSW waters using a vessel on the Murray River must have a permit.

This applies to:

  • each person on board a vessel entering NSW waters from Victoria; and
  • all recreational and commercial vessels, including houseboats.

NSW Police are enforcing border entry requirements.

You can apply for a border entry permit via Service NSW by clicking HERE.

Further information about NSW border restrictions can be found HERE.

FAQs:

What boating, and fishing activities are prohibited under stage four restrictions for Metropolitan Melbourne?

From 6pm 2 August 2020, Metropolitan Melbourne moved to Stage 4 restrictions with stronger rules to limit the movement of people – and slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

This includes restrictions to the time, distance and gathering limits applied to recreational activities and exercise, including boating and fishing. Those who live in Metropolitan Melbourne are prohibited from all forms of recreational boating and fishing to keep everyone safe and to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

From today, boat ramps and jetties across Metropolitan Melbourne are closed to all forms of recreational boating and fishing. Commercial shipping, commercial boating, land, port and waterway management functions and emergency access are exempt from these restrictions.

To stay up to date with the latest health advice from the Department of Health and Human Services: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

Can I still commercially boat and fish

Yes, commercial fishing is exempt.

Yes, commercial boating is exempt from this restriction.

This includes aquaculture, shipping, public transport (ferries), commercial operations such as maritime construction and dredging and emergency access

Charter fishing operations are not exempt.

What if I own a private jetty/boat ramp, does this apply to me?

Yes, we are asking people living in metropolitan Melbourne to stop all forms of recreational boating to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

When does this restriction come into force? For how long?

On 2 August 2020, the Premier announced stage 4 restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne that will continue for six weeks to 11:59pm on Sunday 13 September.

Closures are in place until further notice.

What local recreational boating sites does this apply to?

The closures apply to all Metropolitan Melbourne public boat ramps, piers, jetties, and other marine infrastructure that supports recreational boating.

Can I move my moored, anchored or berthed vessel?

For emergency purposes it may be permitted to move a moored, anchored or berthed vessel. An emergency purpose includes a boat sinking or repair damage that would cause a boat to sink.

This situation would need to be assessed on a case by case basis because there are limited reasons for a person to leave their ordinary place of residence.

If I can’t go boating, will you be refunding my Marine License and Registration fees?

Marine licenses

  • Marine license and registration money goes towards improving recreational boating facilities, safety and education programs, navigation aids and signage, delivery of our Marine Search and Rescue program and a range of other recreational boating services and projects across Victoria.
  • This money also funds the Water Police and Marine Safety Victoria compliance officers who are continuing to patrol the waterways.

Fishing licences

  • Recreational fishing licence money goes into fish stocking, access and infrastructure. It will continue to be invested to make sure that when we can fish again there will be plenty of fish to catch. This money also funds Fisheries Officers who are continuing to patrol the waterways.

Fines

Victoria Police are issuing on-the-spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for Victorian businesses for failing to adhere to directives.

Remember to ensure that your vessel and safety equipment is in good working order before you head out on the water.

Skippers must also remember their other safety responsibilities regarding safety equipment, alcohol consumption, keeping a proper lookout and proceeding at a safe speed.

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