THE state government has insisted it will not introduce a fee for recreational saltwater fishing despite commissioning an $18,800 feasibility study into licensing models.
Last month, the Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment Department released a report by fisheries research consultant Sven Frijlink that examined various models for introducing a sea fishing licence.
The report, funded through the government's Fishwise Community Grant project, does not make any recommendations for changing the system.
But it is accompanied by a disclaimer that it may be further contemplated in regards to declining recreational licence and Fishwise revenues.
Opposition fisheries spokesman Rene Hidding said the government was crafting a revenue-raising scheme that would hit Tasmanian fishermen ``like a new tax''.
But a spokesman for Fisheries Minister Bryan Green said there were ``no plans whatsoever'' to introduce a fee, and labelled Mr Hidding's remarks ``speculative and inflammatory'.
Mr Hidding responded by questioning why the report, titled An Assessment of Licensing Arrangements for Tasmania's Marine Recreational Fisheries , was commissioned in the first place.
``The only reason is because they are looking at ways to raise money for a cash-strapped department,'' he said.
St Helens Bait and Tackle owner Jamie Henderson said introducing a saltwater fishing licence would erode participation on the East Coast and across the state.
``You'd then see a flow-on effect to businesses such as my own, and the communities that we operate in,'' he said.