VICTORIA'S fisheries research capacity will be cut in half under job cuts by the Baillieu government, in a move the state opposition says breaks the pledge not to cut front-line positions while reducing the public service.
The government has told staff at the Fisheries Research Branch, based in Queenscliff, their numbers will be cut from 30 to 15.
A campaign has been launched to stop the job losses. Its spokesman, fisheries ecologist Joel Williams, said it was obvious the researchers were front-line.
Agriculture and Water Minister Peter Walsh last night said the Baillieu government was "committed" to fisheries science at Queenscliff and the Department of Primary Industries was refocusing research programs to assess fish stocks, measure catches, and study key fish species.
Opposition environment spokeswoman Lisa Neville said the jobs were "absolutely front-line".