Statement from the GMA - Duck season advice


The GMA will provide a recommendation on the 2021 duck season to the Victorian Government in due course.

The GMA will provide a recommendation on the 2021 duck season to the Victorian Government in due course.

The GMA uses the best available information at the time to make recommendations to government.

As many game duck species are highly mobile and can move across state borders, data on game duck abundance and distribution is considered for eastern Australia, not just Victoria.

All relevant data on waterbird populations, including state and eastern-Australian data, are considered when setting duck season arrangements and provided to the Victorian Government.

The Eastern Australian Waterbird Survey is one piece of a range of data that the GMA uses to form recommendations on duck season arrangements in Victoria.

The GMA, DJPR, DELWP and Parks Victoria conduct several monitoring activities each year to collect information relating to the harvesting and management of game species in Victoria.

One of the statutory functions of the GMA is to monitor, conduct research and analyse the environmental, social and economic impacts of game hunting and game management.

The Estimating the economic impact of hunting in Victoria report (2013), produced by the DJPR, was previously considered when setting duck season arrangements because it is specific to Victorian duck hunting. A national report released in 2019 did not report on specific categories of hunted animals, including ducks, and could not be used. The Economic contribution of recreational hunting in Victoria report, released by DJPR in 2020, is being used to inform the 2021 duck season.

The GMA recently conducted a knowledge survey of more than 5,300 deer, duck and quail hunters in Victoria. This research will help inform further research and future education and training materials that the GMA provides to hunters.

A multiple-choice question in the knowledge survey asked: ‘why is it important to correctly identify a game duck?’. There were four options provided, three of which were correct. While 20 per cent of participants selected all three correct answers to the question, 97 per cent of participants selected the most important answer, which was that protected species were not mistakenly shot.

The survey question was not a test of whether hunters could correctly distinguish between game and non-game species.

All hunters are required to pass a Waterfowl Identification Test before obtaining a Game Licence to hunt ducks in Victoria. To pass that test, all non-game birds must be correctly identified, and the hunter must achieve an overall mark of at least 85 per cent.