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      Found 526 results

      1. G'day, I subscribe to Starlo and he sends out an interesting news letter. I thought I would pop it up here. It has an interesting opening piece. Personally I love to take fish home for dinner and would be very disappointed if I was unable to do this. How do you all feel about this? Early summer trout heaven: A slice of magical “twig water” high in the Snowy Mountains. From Starlo’s Desk… For better or worse, we need to accept that most of the quality, wild-caught seafood harvested in this country today falls into the “luxury food” category, which is why so much of it ends up heading overseas. It might surprise some people to discover just how much Jo and I enjoy a meal of fresh fish, and how often we bring one home. Yes, we release a lot of the fish we catch. But we also kill and eat a reasonable proportion of them. For us, it’s one of the great pleasures and rewards of our pastime. A couple of weeks ago we took advantage of a weather window we’d identified via our favourite weather app, Fish Ranger, to nip offshore for the morning and chase a few southern reef fish on lures and baits. We ended up with a lovely mixed bag consisting of five “pan-sized” snapper, a couple of sand flathead, a pigfish, a mowie, a nannygai and some leatherjackets. I’d gone to the trouble of creating a slurry of ice and seawater in an insulated cooler and each fish was quickly brain spiked or “pithed” using a Japanese method known as iki jime before being slipped into the slurry. The resulting bag of fish looked so damn good that I just had to capture an image on my phone and share it to Instagram and Facebook! The caption I wrote to accompany that post read as follows: “It’s so good to bring home a couple of meals of fresh, self-caught fish: Handled well, iki jime spiked, straight into an ice slurry and promptly processed. Recreational anglers are privileged to be able to harvest sustainably, and to feed ourselves and our immediate families some of the healthiest (and tastiest) protein available. We should never take that privilege for granted, never abuse it... and never give it up.” Our morning’s mixed bag of southern reef fish fed the family in style for a week. Look after your catch. I was delighted and a little surprised by the breadth and warmth of the response that post generated. It seems I’d touched a chord with a great many fellow anglers, lots of whom spared a moment to agree, or to provide their own take on the often-overlooked appeal of fishing’s important “hunter/gatherer” aspects. However, as is usually the case with social media, my post also rattled the cages of a few critics, especially from the commercial sector. Several took me to task. One wrote (in part, and edited here to fit): “What about everyone else that don't catch their own? The 90%. NSW only has 750 remaining active professional fishermen left to feed the growing population of 7.5 million… That's one pro fisher to feed 10,000 people a day… One thing’s for sure, none of the 10,000 who don't fish will ever be as privileged as you… Bet that 90% who don't catch their own wish to be as privileged as you, Steve, given most now cannot access nor afford local seafood, only cheap imported [product].” Several others joined in with a chorus of similar arguments, while a few resorted to abuse, name calling and foul language. Their underlying message seemed to be that recreational anglers were a selfish and indulgent mob, and that — by catching our own — we were somehow denying our fellow Australians the “right” to access fresh, local seafood. It’s an interesting argument, although heavily flawed in my opinion. Yes, there’s no getting away from the fact that a large proportion of Australia’s commercial seafood harvest is exported, nor that much of the fish purchased and eaten by consumers in this country is imported. It seems obvious to me that this unbalanced situation is driven by what economists would call “market forces”. Put simply, many Australian consumers can’t afford to eat quality, locally-sourced seafood on a regular basis. But I’m unconvinced that further limiting the activities of recreational anglers — or allowing more commercial netters to ply their trade in our already over-fished waters — would redress that imbalance in any way. It’s a fact of life that quality “wild caught” seafood in this country is relatively expensive compared to other common sources of protein. Perhaps that’s how it should be: reflecting its scarcity and cost of extraction? I’m pretty sure none of the commercial operators who waded in to have a shot at me over my post would be willing to take a hefty cut to their own bottom lines in order to make their catch more affordable for average Aussie consumers. Nor should they be expected to, any more than our dairy farmers deserve to be screwed down on the price of their milk by the big supermarket chains. It’s simply unfair. Jo’s rendition of Thai-style crispy whole fish and salad with an amazingly zesty orange sauce… Yum! For better or worse, we need to accept that most of the quality, wild-caught seafood harvested in this country today falls into the “luxury food” category, which is why so much of it ends up heading overseas. If Australians wish to consume it, they need to pay those premium prices… or catch their own. As an analogy, while it’s true that we all have the “right” to buy meat, that doesn’t mean we can all afford to eat fillet steak four or five times a week! And let’s face it, good quality Aussie whiting, flathead or snapper is at least as expensive as prime cuts of beef. To look at it from another angle, I really enjoy eating venison, and would also like to tuck into the occasional wild rabbit or duck (I loved both as a kid). But unless I’m willing to obtain my gun licence and gain access to properties to pursue these critters myself, I must either rely on the generosity of friends who hunt, or buy expensive, farmed product that really doesn’t taste the same. I accept that reality. It’s a fact of life. “Wild caught” protein is, by definition, a premium item with limited supply and a high price tag. The only way around that unpalatable truth is to harvest it yourself, as Jo and I do with fish… although we’d be kidding ourselves to claim that this is the “cheaper” option. Let’s face it, with the amounts most of us spend on boats, tackle, fuel and so on, the fish we end up eating has probably cost a lot more than its shop-bought equivalent. I’d also confidently bet that every kilo of wild-caught seafood we catch injects more dollars into the Australian economy and supports more jobs than a kilo of fish harvested by a commercial operator… But that’s another argument for another time! Meanwhile, I make no apologies and feel absolutely no guilt about bringing home an occasional feed of self-caught fish…. Every other Australian is free to do exactly the same, at least at this point in time. Remember the old saying: “Give (or sell!) a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Or, as one bloke who posted on that social media string so aptly put it: “When there are fish to catch, teach people to get off there arses and learn how to catch their own! More access to the water from councils and governments would help, too, instead of closing everything.” Yep, I’ll drink to that! Share Tweet Forward ----- > SCROLL DOWN! There’s much more below Catch My Drift? Thoughts, reflections, insights and epiphanies that occurred to Jo this month... I’m NOT a Gun. “I am a Learner. It’s the learning that inspires me to fish... and fish and fish. ” The windscreen of my world is filled with the most remarkable fishing talent. Yours probably is too. We’re very lucky to have the extraordinary vision that social media provides, allowing us to see well beyond the horizon of our local fishing club and pub. This transcending scope allows awe-inspiring feats to fill our imaginations. We get to vicariously visit fishing destinations and scenarios that we would otherwise be ignorant of and, if you’re like me, these mind-trips become the building blocks of bucket lists and holiday plans. Boy Oh Boy, there are some bloody LEGENDS out there — I think they’re respectfully called “Guns”. I truly admire the discipline and the years upon years of dedication that’s required to reach true gun status. Species specialists who seem to be able to anticipate a fin flick from their quarry simply astound me… but the anglers I admire most are the great all-rounders. The author rates Chris Cleaver (pictured) as the consummate All-Rounder. I get excited to see folks I know (or follow… on social media, not in a stalking way) holding a wide variety of species, from varying waterways and caught using an equally diverse set of methods. That’s when my admiration truly flows over. Versatility has virtues equal to (or even greater than) specialisation. A versatile angler can assess the waters they find on their travels and turn their skills to the task of pulling a fish… perhaps several different species, using whatever tackle and style of fishing is required for the job. They may never attain a world record, but they’re never limited either. Catching new species in new waters is so exciting. This tripletail from the waters off Sumba put a smile on Jo's face. It’s a different kind of challenge, isn’t it — that of confronting the “new” and taming personal frontiers? I absolutely love it. It drives my recreational fishing passion. I am not a gun… I am a Learner. It’s the learning that inspires me to fish... and fish and fish. Jo’s steepest (and most rewarding) learning curve to date has been taking up the fly rod. So to all the fishing “Jacks (and Jills) Of All Trades” out there, I salute you! Thank you for your inspiration and your exuberant love of fishing. Please keep seeking out your “new” and challenging yourself to grow. It makes me happy. By the way, you may be very interested in our new online tournament, Fishotopia’s Great Aussie Fishing Dash... it rewards versatility! Read on to learn more about this exciting and unique new competition in the Aussie fishing calendar… Fish On! Share Tweet Forward ----- > SCROLL DOWN! There’s much more below What’s New? PIT YOURSELF AGAINST THE BEST IN THE GREAT AUSSIE FISHING DASH! On Sunday, 1st December, 2019, Fishotopia is staging its first-ever, one-day, on-line, national fishing tournament! We have well over $2,000 worth of fantastic prizes to give away (you can see a couple of examples of the regional prize packs here) and the event is open to absolutely anyone in the country… as long as they’re a member of Fishotopia’s Inner Circle! Joining for a month so you can compete in this event costs just $5.50, which has to be the cheapest entry fee in history for a tournament of this calibre! Of course, we’re hoping you’ll like what you discover inside the Inner Circle so much that you might choose to stay on, but if you don’t, that’s fine too. To find out more about this fabulous event and learn all about the rules and prize structure, simply click here! Have You Checked In On Your Aussie Anglers Almanac Today? Starlo visits the home of our favourite brew, BentSpoke, and interviews founder, Richard Watkins. The Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) is calling for nominations for the 2019 Recreational Fishing Awards, which will be presented on 11 December, 2019 at the National Recreational Fishing Awards Gala Dinner. The Awards are open to Australian citizens and projects, with the nominated work or activity occurring during 2017—2019 (except for the Mal Ramsay Lifetime Achievement Award) and have a vision to improve recreational fishing in Australia. There are no entry fees and self-nomination is allowed. Nominations close at COB Monday 18 November, 2019. For further information, please visit www.arff.net.au/nrfc/2019-recreational-fishing-awards/ The National Social and Economic Survey of Recreational Fishing is designed to develop an understanding of who is participating in recreational fishing, where they're participating and what the social and economic impacts are in Australia. To participate in this important survey, register first by clicking the link above to go to the official website. Are you getting your Fishotopian direct? If you’ve stumbled upon this newsletter through a friend or a social platform, you might like to jump on the mailing list. It's easy, free and you can unsubscribe at any time. Interested? Click here and fill in the details. All Fishotopian newsletters are archived shortly after being e-mailed out, and you can find them all here. Diary Dates & Events FISHOTOPIA’S GREAT AUSSIE FISHING DASH Sunday 1 December, 2019 WHERE: Your favourite waterway COST: Free to Inner Circle Members PRIZES: One for each designated region (as outlined in the Aussie Anglers Almanac map). Prize pool includes Pair of Nikon Monarch 5 Binoculars, Mako Pack including Apex polarised sunglasses with glass lenses and scratch proof mirrors, Lowrance Hook2–5 Splitshot HDI sounder, Mako Oil 12pack of pistol oils, Shimano Rod and Reel combo, Gangster Lures Mega Pack and full set of The Fishing DVD. NATIONAL RECREATIONAL FISHING CONFERENCE Hobart — and streaming live — 10–11 December, 2019 This years conference promises to celebrate, inform and expand Australia’s vibrant recreational fishing citizen science programs. The conference will be live-streamed, allowing all interested fishers to engage and discover ways that they can contribute positively to the future of our sport. Network News Tight Lines Magazine SEARCHING FOR GOLD THIS YEAR? A brand new edition of Tight Lines Magazine, entitled “On Golden Ponds”, can now be found in the Fisho’s Libraryt just in time for the peak of the yellowbelly season. With 111 pages of insights and intelligence, it’s without doubt the most comprehensive exposé written on this species to date. Tight Lines is an immersive flip magazine, enriched with live links and video content. Inner Circle members can find the magazine here. Want to read one of the Tight Lines titles, but don’t want to become a member of Starlo’s Inner Circle? Good news! All three issues of Tight Lines Magazine — Mulloway Mania, Chasing Unicorns and On Golden Ponds — are now available for sale. Follow this link to buy your ebook now Fly On The Wall The Clubhouse Wall is our Inner Circle Members’ private forum. This Fly On the Wall section of our monthly newsletter highlights some of the topics discussed in our virtual “Clubhouse” over the past month. The above collection of pics has been collated from some of our favourite posts of late. Topics of interest have included: • Redfin perch and zander on fly in Rotterdam • Googong Dam firing up • Pre-purchase brainstorm on sounders • Bass, bass, bass! 'Tis the Season! • Snapper on the chew from Victoria to Queensland • Golden perch galore, from Windamere, Googong, Copeton... you name it! • Tackle choices for the Rote trip! • The Great Aussie Fishing Dash When I first heard of Mako Oil, I was very sceptical. I had a cupboard full of the very best lubricants and corrosion preservatives. Why would I need another? We maintain a fleet of 9 aircraft including floatplanes. We also maintain an island resort on the Great Barrier Reef with a fleet of glass bottom boats, tractors, generators, desalination plant and assorted fixtures. We initially purchased our first container of Mako Oil around 3 years ago. This product has now replaced a large number of the more expensive products in that cupboard and we have not yet found the limit of its uses. Not only is it environmentally friendly, this product really works! ~ David Porter HONEY HOLES & HOT SPOTS Beautiful Kangaroo Island, off the South Australian coast, is a fishing paradise. In this detailed area guide, Starlo and Jo focus specifically on the Island’s land-based and kayak fishing opportunities. Inner Circle members can go straight to the article by clicking on this link. MEMBERS HOT LINK In The Bar... This month’s “Beer With Starlo” interview features Glen “Boothy” Booth. Glen was Editor of “Modern Fishing” magazine for many years and is well-known in game fishing circles, with several record catches to his credit. These days he lives near Coffs Harbour on the NSW north coast, chasing snapper, trag’, tuskies and pearlies through the cooler months before turning to marlin, tuna and mackerel in the peak season. His insights and reflections on fishing make for fascinating viewing. Everyone can watch a short version of the interview by clicking on the video link below while Inner Circle members can watch the full interview or listen to the podcast HERE Readers who are not yet members of the Inner Circle can view the abridged interview with Glen Booth right now! HOOK TO COOK Zesty Spiced Trevally We don’t always catch our target species... and our by-catch doesn't always survive. In such a situation, Jo once had to work out what to do with a large golden trevally. The delicious recipe that resulted is perfect for any firm fleshed fish and is a great way to honour your by-catch. Members can find the recipe HERE Tips like this can be found throughout the public area of Fishotopia.com “ It was really cool to fish with someone I met through Fishotopia! ~ Ryan Keith. STARLO GETS REEL Have you subscribed to our Starlo Gets Reel channel on YouTube? If not, you wouldn't have seen the new unboxing videos... here’s the latest, the one when Starlo first gets his hands on Shimano’s SLX DC Baitcaster. We still have a small number of copies of two of Starlo’s most popular book titles available. As a bonus, Steve will sign each book, at no extra charge! These would be perfect to squirrel away until Christmas! (Please note that these special offers are only available to Australian residents.) “Finesse Lure Fishing” by Steve Starling Australian Fishing Network, 2015 This is the definitive, 240-page how-to guide to dramatically improving your lure fishing results — in all scenarios and on every species. Join the “10 percent club” by better understanding the senses of fish and correctly applying the detailed “finesse” principles Starlo has developed across half a century of intensive fishing with lures and flies. If this one doesn’t make you a better angler, consider taking up golf! ONLY 4 SIGNED COPIES LEFT AT THE TIME THIS EZINE WAS FIRST SENT! $39 each, including postage & handling to anywhere in Australia CLICK THE PIC ABOVE TO GET YOURS. “Fishing Hot Spots” by Steve Starling Random House, 1998 This 21-year old fishing guidebook is a classic, and has become a collector’s item! A few of the places may have changed a little over the intervening years, but so much of the valuable information in this book is as useful today as when it was first written. “Fishing Hot Spots” is 290 pages of maps, photos, species identification guides and priceless intel’ on most of the country’s best fishing spots… A must-have for any serious angler! ONLY 12 SIGNED COPIES LEFT AT THE TIME OF HITTING SEND! $29 each, including postage & handling to anywhere in Australia CLICK THE PIC ABOVE TO GET YOURS. Login to the Inner Circle to receive your members discount on everything and anything in our shop (except memberships). WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADVERTISE IN THIS NEWSLETTER? Our readers are enthusiastic, thinking anglers from all over the country. If you have a product or service that benefits them, let’s tell them about it! Advertising spaces are limited. CLICK FOR MEDIA KIT & MORE INFORMATION Until we see you in Fishotopia... Tight Lines!
      2. Found this on FB. https://www.facebook.com/staywarmplease/videos/921448274895130/
      3. Hey legends. Thought you might like to read this news report about what we are doing with shellfish reef restoration in Moreton Bay. I wish it did a link thingo..... https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2019-07-19/snotweed-algae-oyster-reef-restoration/11324388?pfmredir=ms&fbclid=IwAR0oo8B8QBNLIjzYlg1XvNtl9fr6Vh-9p_kJgmdHJtOUGlqIZ21gcS90wu4
      4. I wonder if this is legit. It must have had a nasty belly ache. Facebook-sd.mp4
      5. Found this on another forum Draft Moreton Bay Marine Park Zoning Plan Legislation to Restrict Boating in moreton Bay 120 Days per year per person Section 107 of the Draft Moreton Bay Marine Park Zoning Plan is set to prohibit boating in the Marine Park zone to no more than 120 days per year per person. This legislation does not apply to those navigating and mooring with permission or operating a passenger ferry, but the impact could be felt by recreational boat users, residents of the Bay Islands, live-aboard operations, and commercial operators who could be fined or forced to navigate more red tape. Whilst there is support for protecting the bay environment, questions remain about the practicality of enforcing this legislation, who it will be applied to, and whether this will mean more red tape for commercial operators and others enjoying the Bay. Read the full report at this link: you'll need to copy and paste sorry https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/dbf1a3_8a8e436d412049a4ba9e48cf0fb4e47f.pdf Have your say here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Moretonbaylegislation 230 odd pages Section Stew is taking about is on page 75. Sounds like the old trick of including something controversial that everyone will complain about and slip in the things that they really wish to do unnoticed. Needs a section stating what they propose to change, No maps just lat and longitude lines. Impossible for a dumbo like me to work out what they are saying. Good reason to stick to the fresh water. Cheers Ray
      6. Copy of email Cheers Ray Have your say on changes to fisheries legislation - by Monday 19 July 2019 Yahoo/Inbox fisheriesmanagers <fisheriesmanagers@daf.qld.gov.au> To:fisheriesmanagers 20 Jun at 3:11 pm Have your say - Changes to fisheries legislation by Monday 19 July 2019 In June 2017, the Queensland Government released the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy (the Strategy) paving the way for Queensland to have a world-class fisheries management system. To implement fisheries reforms additional changes to the Fisheries Regulation 2008 (the Regulation) are required. Extensive consultation has occurred over the last 18 months, with results of consultation available online atwww.fisheries.qld.gov.au. All feedback has been considered by the relevant working groups and the Sustainable Fisheries Expert Panel and a number of changes have been made as a result of feedback. A discussion paper has been developed to provide all stakeholders with the opportunity to have a say about the proposed amendments to the Fisheries Regulation 2008. Key proposed changes include: splitting fisheries into regions establishing sustainable catch limits for crab, east coast inshore and trawl and snapper and pearl perch allocating quota and effort units to individuals adjusting size limits from pearl perch and king threadfin introducing a one month seasonal closure for snapper and pearl perch to rebuild overfished stocks reducing the mud crab in-possession limit from 10 to 7 introducing boat limits for priority blackmarket species introducing a new general possession limit of 20 for any species that doesn’t have a current limit banning lightweight crab pots that ‘ghost fish’. You can provide feedback by completing the online survey or downloading the response form and submitting it by email or post: Online: www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/fisheries/sustainable/sustainable-fisheries-strategy/fisheries-reforms Email: fisheriesmanagers@daf.qld.gov.au Mail: Proposed amendments to the Fisheries Regulation Department of Agriculture and Fisheries GPO Box 46 Brisbane Qld 4001 Want to talk to us about the proposed changes? Should you require any information please contact the Department's Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23 or visitwww.fisheries.qld.gov.au. If you would like to talk to a Fishery Manager about the proposed changes, please contact the Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23 to arrange a call back at a time that is suitable for you.
      7. Hey Gang, We are getting a fair bit of pushback from Marine Parks with the Shellfish Reef Restoration Project. I am wanting to create a petition that shows community support for this project and I need a bit of help. How do you write a petition? What I was thinking was; I support the restoration of Shellfish Reefs in Moreton Bay and want an allowable Scope of work... bla bla bla... Sorry I don't know how to write it. Any ideas?
      8. Might interest anyone that likes local history MSB History of the Dredging of the Brisbane Rive.pdf
      9. I have listened to a heap of speakers about climate change and emissions. I have come to the conclusion that none of these experts know what they are talking about. So how the hell are we supposed to work it out. Their answers are so far apart, it makes you wonder what sort of a world we live in. These so called experts stand in front of the camera and dribble absolute rubbish with a straight face, Then the next bloke gets in front of the camera and dribbles rubbish the other way. Think about it, if they were experts they would be on the same page or close to it. Dino
      10. https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/fisheries/monitoring-compliance/monitoring-reporting/recreational-fishing/statewide-recreational-fishing-surveys Do they just ring you up or text you randomly?
      11. I was in a meeting yesterday about the oyster reef project and they mentioned that they are building the Palm Beach reef. It is very close to the existing Palm Beach Reef so wanted to post it up. I did a very quick google and found this. I am sure there are better articles out there. https://www.swellnet.com/news/swellnet-dispatch/2018/08/29/palm-beach-reef-given-green-light
      12. This if very important. Once changes happen they very rarely com back. Please have a look and of you want to have your say, complete the survey. https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/fisheries/sustainable-fisheries-strategy/changes-to-queenslands-fisheries-legislation
      13. Previously I would have posted this in the Outdoor`s section but that does not appear to be available these days? If you do, we would love to hear from you. Your opinions will help the NSW Department of Primary Industries Game Licensing Unit to better understand the experiences of hunters in NSW and the economic and other benefits that hunting brings to the community. In order to tell us your views, please click 'Start Survey' below. It will take 15 minutes or so to complete the confidential survey. The survey is best done on a computer. Although it is possible to complete the survey on a tablet or smart phone, this may take longer. Full Details http://nswhunt.dbmweb.com.au/
      14. After stocking my freezer last night with purchased bait, it got me thinking about size and possession limits on purchased fish For example, if im caught with an undersized crab that ive caught myself...I will be fined. But if I purchase an undersized crab from Woolies...and get pulled over on the way home by fisheries (never going to happen, but for the argument lets say so) and the crab had no packaging...what would happen? same goes for transporting tilapia that I catch compared to buying a whole tilapia that I buy from a local fish co-op... And the same question can be asked about size and take limits...if I go and buy over 10L of prawns by myself and get pulled over on the way home...would I be pinged for it?
      15. I was unaware of this practise. link: http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-09-08/animal-activists-call-for-prawn-boycott-against-cruel-practices/8886626?WT.ac=localnews_brisbane Animal activists are urging a boycott of Australia's farmed prawns in a bid to force an end to a procedure that involves slicing and cutting off the eyes of live female prawns to speed up the breeding process. "They use a scissor-like application, a hot iron, to cut one of the eyes, the eyestalks, off breeding prawns in order to bring them very quickly to maturity. It's quite horrific and its causes them pain," she said………… Australian Prawn Farmers' Association president Matt West staunchly defended eyestalk ablation as a necessary procedure done in accordance with industry best practice. ……."Every single thing that we do to these animals is designed to reduce stress, including some of the hatcheries are using anaesthesia to reduce stress," he said. "We do eyestalk ablate, but it's done under very strict conditions and it's very, very different to what's depicted.
      16. Taken from FW email newsletter 27 July 2017 NEW research has gone beneath the surface of the MoretonBayMarinePark...and the results have cast doubt on the effectiveness of estuarine no-take zones in protecting stocks of popular fish species. The University of the SunshineCoast team who conducted the research was led by Research Fellow in Coastal and Marine Ecology Dr Ben Gilby. “Our team compared the number and diversity of fish in six estuarine ‘no-take’ areas with that of 16 other estuaries where fishing is permitted,” Dr Gilby said. “We found that the ‘no-take’ areas were falling well short of protecting fish that consumers like to catch and eat, such as bream, whiting and mullet. “Paradoxically, fish targeted by anglers were more abundant outside the six protected reserves, in the estuaries where fishing was allowed. “The only fish consistently found in greater numbers inside the ‘no-take’ reserves were species that people did not consume, such as toadfish and catfish.” image: http://yaffa-cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/yaffadsp/images/dmImage/SourceImage/Ben_Gilby_headshot.jpg The USC research was led by Dr Ben Gilby. The six dedicated estuarine reserves were at Pumicestone Passage (BribieIsland, Tripcony Bight), Redcliffe, Nundah, Pimpama and Coomera. Dr Gilby, a fish ecology expert who lectures in Animal Ecology at USC’s campus on the SunshineCoast, said the study’s results initially puzzled the USC marine research team. “To find answers to this paradox about fish numbers in declared reserves, we examined the habitat features of the protected areas and found two major shortcomings – they were too shallow and they were poorly connected to the main channel or sea. “The reserves appeared to have been chosen mainly to protect mangrove habitat, but they unfortunately lacked sufficient water depth and had large areas drying out at low tide.” He led the study with USC colleagues Animal Ecology Lecturer Dr Andrew Olds and Professor of Marine Science Thomas Schlacher, USC PhD student Nicholas Yabsley, HealthyLand and Water’s principal scientist Dr Paul Maxwell and GriffithUniversity’s Professor Rod Connolly. Their paper, ‘Enhancing the performance of marine reserves in estuaries: Just add water,’ was published recently in the journal Biological Conservation. Dr Gilby said the joint study broke new ground in identifying the environmental factors contributing to fish biodiversity in estuaries. “It’s sure to be of great interest to anyone who wants more fish in the sea – whether that’s conservationists or recreational or commercial fishers,” he said. “Our results indicate that the effectiveness of reserves can be improved by conserving deeper estuaries which have a diversity of habitats, better water flow and stronger links to the sea.” The research received funding from the Brisbane-based non-profit organisation HealthyLand and Water and the Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation. “We’re also about to start a similar project investigating the distribution of fish species in estuaries between HerveyBay and the Livingstone Shire (near Rockhampton), including the GreatSandyMarinePark.”
      17. Taken from FW email newsletter 24 July 21 July THE Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) has cautiously welcomed the new Commonwealth Marine Reserve network plans released by the Director of National Parks Sally Barnes. Managing director of ARFF Allan Hansard said: “Though we are still working through the detail of the plans, we are pleased to note that these plans demonstrate a more balanced approach to the Commonwealth marine reserve system than we have seen in the past.” “The plans aim to deliver a world class marine reserve network while recognising the important contribution of key stakeholders, including Australian recreational fishers,” said Hansard. “We think this plan goes a long way to achieving this objective. “These plans are definitely a large improvement on the plans produced by the previous Government that would have seen recreational fishers locked out of over 1.3 million square kilometres of Australian seas, with out any scientific justification. Now we have access to 97 per cent of waters within 100km of the coast, and 80 per cent of the whole network. “These plans maintain access to many of the iconic recreational fishing locations around Australia, with access to 76 per cent of the Coral Sea compared to 46 per cent in the previous plans meaning we have access to the world renowned Wreck, Marion, Shark and Osprey reefs in the Coral Sea and the Perth Trench and Geographe Bay in Western Australia. “This will mean that Australians will still be able to sustainably fish these places for generations to come. “Obviously we have some issues that we would like to have addressed before these plans are finalised. We will be using the submission process to raise these issues with the Government. We are particularly interested in how we can work with the Government in the future management of the new marine reserve network to improve community engagement, obtain a better understanding of fishing and the environment, trial new information management technologies and establish moorings and other systems to improve visitor experiences and recreational opportunities. "We look forward to constructively work with the Government on these plans to ensure a world leading marine reserve network,” Hansard said. Recfishwest, the peak rec fishing body in Western Australia, welcomed the latest Commonwealth Marine Reserves network plans, which recognises the importance of fishing in WA. Recfishwest operations manager Leyland Campbell said Recfishwest were pleased to see these new plans deliver a more balanced approach than we have seen in the past and that the value of key recreational fishing areas have been acknowledged. “These plans are definitely a large improvement on the plans produced by the previous Government which significantly impacted on fishing access,” Campbell said. “After years of uncertainty, long drawn-out discussions and several different draft plans, todayís announcement is a better outcome for fishing.” “These new plans maintain access to many of the iconic fishing locations around WA, including the Rottnest Trench and the South West’s Geographe Bay which had previously been earmarked for closed areas. This will mean that West Aussies can continue to sustainably fish these places for generations to come.” Go to link to view the marine park plans in more detail and the process for feedback. Submissions close September 20, 2017. https://parksaustralia.gov.au/marine/management/draft-plans/
      18. taken from fisheries Qld email 5-7-17 Dear fisheries stakeholder, In June 2017 the Queensland Government released the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy 2017 – 2027, paving the way for Queensland to have a world-class fisheries management system. A key action of the strategy is to establish fishery-specific working groups to provide operational advice from stakeholders from across the sector in the fisheries management process. Fisheries Queensland is now seeking expressions of interest for members of the first three fishery working groups being established for the trawl, crab and east coast inshore fisheries. Each working group will provide advice to Fisheries Queensland on the operational aspects of the management of a particular fishery. The initial focus will be advice on the development of management options and a harvest strategy for the fishery. Working groups are advisory only and will not be decision-making bodies. Working groups will be made up of a range of stakeholders – commercial and recreational fishers, charter operators, seafood marketers and processors and people with conservation experience. Anyone is able to nominate, regardless of whether you are a member of a industry or community organisation. Independent scientific advice will also be sought from the Sustainable Fisheries Expert Panel, made up of experts in the field of fish biology, fishery management, stock assessment modelling and economic and social science. Membership on the working groups is on a voluntary basis. No sitting fees will be paid. Members will be reimbursed for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses including domestic travel, accommodation costs, motor vehicle allowances and meals. Participation in working groups is a big commitment. Working groups established to provide advice on the development of a harvest strategy will be intensive and require a number of meetings every 4 to 8 weeks and out-of-session work. Some meeting may be held using teleconference facilities. How to apply Applications must be submitted by 5pm on Saturday, 22 July 2017. To apply please visit the Expression of Interest website (https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/fisheries/consultations-and-legislation/fisheries-working-groups-expressions-of-interest) and complete the Expression of Interest Form. Please return your completed nomination form to: Mail: Director, Management and Reform, Fisheries Queensland, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, GPO Box 46, Brisbane QLD 4001; or Email: fisheriesreview@daf.qld.gov.au. Membership of working groups will be finalised by August 2017. Successful applicants will be notified in writing and be contacted to arrange attendance at the first working group meeting – scheduled for September/October 2017. Being a member of a working group is not the only way to get involved. Fisheries Queensland will be engaging all stakeholders more broadly. One of the actions in the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy is to utilise more novel engagement techniques (including online surveys) to gather a range of feedback on particular fishery issues. Fisheries Queensland will also be holding regular regional face to face meetings in regional and port areas and releasing discussion papers on options to better manage our fisheries. More information about the working groups, including Terms of Reference, is available online at www.daf.qld.gov.au. Please contact the Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23 if you have any queries.
      19. Gees DAf certainly getting their finger out. Worth a read. https://www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au/gi/consultation/3402/view.html Cheers Ray
      20. Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Economic Development The Honourable Bill Byrne Net free zones boost recreational fishing Queensland’s net free zones are providing positive recreational fishing experiences in Cairns, Mackay and Rockhampton, a report released today has confirmed. Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Bill Byrne said recreational fishers overall reported increased satisfaction with their fishing experiences in the net free zones since their introduction in November 2015. “In the Mackay net free zone we’ve seen a significant increase in recreational fisher satisfaction when compared to the previous year. “In the Cairns and Rockhampton net free zones, recreational fishers are continuing to enjoy fishing in these areas, consistent with last year.” The report, Recreational fishers’ satisfaction and expectations of Queensland’s net free zones, also showed that people who fished recreationally more than two days per month showed the greatest increase in satisfaction, on average their satisfaction increased more than 25 per cent from 2015 to 2016. Minister Byrne said these results were promising. “The net free fishing zones were introduced to increase recreational fishing opportunities in regional Queensland and support tourism and economic growth, so it’s great to see these early positive results,” Minister Byrne said. Minister Byrne also today released the Fisheries Queensland report Monitoring Queensland’s boat-based recreational fishing, providing details of the species, number and size of fish caught throughout the state, including in the net free zones. Minister Byrne said the boat ramp monitoring program, together with the recreational fisher surveys, would build a more complete picture of recreational fishing in Queensland and the effects of the net free zones. “Monitoring is necessary to ensure our fisheries are managed responsibly and sustainably for the benefit of all Queenslanders,” he said. “We know it takes a number of years to see the results of fisheries management changes and the introduction of the net free zones is no different. “The Queensland Government will continue to monitor fishing in the net free zones to capture any changes over time to recreational fisher satisfaction, as well as the species, number and size of fish caught,” Minister Byrne said. Nathan Johnston, President of the Queensland branch of the Australian National Sportfishing Association, welcomed the results. “These results demonstrate that the net free zones are having a positive influence on recreational fishers’ satisfaction,” Mr Johnston said. “While anecdotally our members have been reporting better catches, it is great to see robust science and monitoring of recreational fishing to reinforce any long term changes attributed to these net free zones and wider afield across 45 boat ramps in Queensland. “Personally, I have participated in the boat ramp surveys twice this year. “I strongly encourage anglers not to be shy and to brag about their catches when approached by Fisheries Queensland staff conducting boat ramp surveys, as this information is critical to informing sound management decisions,” he said. From November 2015 to October 2016, more than 8000 boat crews were interviewed at boat ramps throughout Queensland and more than 4500 fish were measured from 34 species. Pikey bream, barred javelin, sand whiting, common coral trout and yellowfin bream were the most commonly measured species throughout Queensland. A variety of species proved popular amongst recreational fishers at boat ramps providing access to the net free zones, with barred javelin the most commonly kept species in Cairns, pikey bream in Mackay and school mackerel in Rockhampton. The net free fishing zones were introduced in November 2015 and are located at Trinity Bay off Cairns, St Helens Beach to Cape Hillsborough north of Mackay, and the Capricorn Coast from Yeppoon down to Rockhampton (including the Fitzroy River). To download the reports or learn more about the net free fishing zones visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23. Follow Fisheries Queensland on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@FisheriesQld).
      21. In June 2017, the Queensland Government released the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy 2017-2027, paving the way for Queensland to have a world-class fisheries management system. Some of the actions in the Strategy include things like harvest strategies for each fishery, satellite tracking on all commercial fishing boats, regionally specific fishing rules and using new technologies more effectively. Importantly, these reforms also deliver on a number of actions under the Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan, highlighting our ongoing commitment to the Great Barrier Reef. The Strategy and factsheets about what the Strategy means for different stakeholder groups are available online at www.daf.qld.gov.au.
      22. Taken from FW email newsletter 11 May 2017 THE Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) has approved the determination of mid-water pair trawling as an approved fishing method in the Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) until October 2018, subject to conditions and review. This decision comes on the back of AFMA's recent announcement of an increase in the slimy mackerel quota of 450 per cent for the current season. "The decision was made after considering the best available science and data with advice sought from the South East Management Advisory Committee, SPF Scientific Panel, SPF Stakeholder Forum, marine mammal and seabird experts and the public," a spokesperson from AFMA said. "The period to comment publically on the determination of pair trawling as a fishing method opened on 22 December 2016 and closed 10 February 2017. In total, AFMA received 67 submissions, the majority of which were opposed to mid-water pair trawling in the fishery. Issues raised by the public included: impacts of fishing small pelagics on the broader ecosystem localised depletion risks to protected species negative impact on the recreational or tourism sector. Of further interest to recreational fishers will be the fact that one operator applied to pair trawl in the SPF and AFMA has gone further and approved pair trawling as a method, meaning that any licenced operator may now use the method. On the impact to recreational fishing, AFMA dismissed stakeholder concerns saying that fishing in the SPF would not negatively impact recreational fishing, regardless of the method. "The Commission noted the Scientific Panel’s advice that there is a low risk of localised depletion for SPF stocks due to the high mobility and rapid re-distribution of these species. Extensive dietary analyses and ecosystem modelling in Australian waters has shown that predator species are not highly dependent on SPF species and have a high capacity to switch prey. For these reasons, and the adoption of the revised harvest strategy which had been ecologically and economically tested, the Commission considered that fishing in the SPF would not negatively impact on recreational fishing, regardless of the method," a statement said. You can read the complete rationale for the AFMA Commission’s decision regarding mid-water pair trawling here. http://www.afma.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Commission-rationale_Pair-Trawling.pdf Further detail on the Commission’s decision regarding mid-water pair trawling and summary of comments received during public consultation can be found on afma.gov.au.
      23. If this was you or I, we`d have boat and gear confiscated along with the fine. Obviously the profits for this guy far exceeds his fines, wonder if he claims the fines as work expenses with the ATO? https://m.gladstoneobserver.com.au/news/commercial-angler-busted-for-illegal-fishing/3173175/
      24. Warning for those who can only CRACK a SAD: The below may contain information or an opinion that is unsuitable for; those with a problem with politics section in a fishing forum, overly sensitive persons, those with no sense of humour, those with irrational environmental ideologies or those with wacky religious beliefs that may involve wearing a vest or those that insist on infringeing on the majorities way of life. On the fuzzy warm side of things, no animals were harmed in the transmission of this message. Taken from FW email newsletter 13 March FISH FACTS; Animal rights activists are blurring the science around fish welfare By Dr Ben Diggles | 13 March 2017 THE fish welfare issue has finally hit mainstream media in this country following an emotive opinion piece by a “reformed” ex-recreational fisher in the West Australian newspaper. After Recfishwest replied with a letter to the editor attempting to set the record straight and introduce some facts into the debate, Dr Jessica Meeuwig from University of WA replied with a letter of her own published on the 30th January 2017 entitled “No myth in the science around fish and pain”. In it, Meeuwig provides readers with her slant on fish pain science, stating “these are not cherry picked examples”, but she then went on to do exactly that with a one-sided portrayal of the science of “fish pain”, mixed in with her own potent cocktail of “welfare meets conservation meets animal rights” assessment of catch and release fishing. Her letter ended in a quote saying “perhaps we will look back one day on our pursuit of these animals for sport and ask, “what were we thinking?” Meeuwigs viewpoint highlights a yawning gap between the different ethical views on conservation practices such as catch and release. The fisher’s viewpoint is probably best summarised by J Claude Evans in his book “With Respect for Nature: Living as Part of the Natural World” who said: “The practice of catch and release is based on respect for the integrity of ecosystems and populations that are subjected to the pressures of human use and exploitation. Embedded in this practice is a specific respect for the individual fish one attempts to catch and then releases…” In contrast, we have the viewpoint of animal rights and animal liberation advocates, who can be summarised by a quote from John Webster, author of a book entitled “Animal Welfare, limping towards Eden”, who says: “What can be more humiliating for a fish than to be caught by an angler—and worse still—to then be released. The poor thing is probably traumatized for the rest of its life and shall therefore be better off by being killed than released.” It’s “interesting” to say the least that a scientist like Meeuwig chose (knowingly or not) to align herself with animal rights philosophy, particularly as animal rights and liberation philosophies break down wherever wild animals encounter predation in a natural food chain. This is because, as eloquently pointed out by UK based Philosopher Professor Warwick Fox, the animal rights and liberation theories cannot adequately explain why we should, for example, stop human predation or interactions with fishes on one hand, but on the other hand, not attempt to intervene to stop the suffering (or "rights violations") of other fishes in terms of their predation upon each other. Indeed, a literal interpretation of animal rights philosophy is that one acceptable solution to predation is to “simply humanely eliminate all predators” because humans alone can determine what is morally right or wrong and therefore we are obliged to protect the so called rights of prey species. Clearly then, animal rights and liberation theories are fundamentally and fatally flawed in this respect and have no place in any science based efforts to manage the natural environment because of this. It’s important to realise that animal welfare theory accepts fishing, and fishing is an OK activity for fish welfare provided scientifically validated best practice methods are used – which is why Australia has developed and recently updated its National Code of Practice for Recreational Fishing. In contrast, however, animal rights and animal liberation theories do not condone fishing in any form, as shown by the comparison in Table 1. The table is borrowed from a paper by Professor Robert Arlinghaus from Germany, a fisheries scientist who took an active interest in the subject once it began to impact on the ability of his department and students to do fisheries research in Germany. The table in the link below is useful as it’s important to know the difference between valid welfare concerns, which are based on science, and animal rights and liberation theories, because its the latter two which are used to form the basis of anti-fishing campaigns from the animal rights movement. These campaigns tend to be based on emotion, and dodgy “science” messages, but unfortunately, if not challenged they can be highly successful, mainly in first world, post-industrial democratic societies, with highly urbanised populations. https://www.agrar.hu-berlin.de/de/institut/departments/dntw/jp_bfm/publ_html/arlinghaus-et-al.-2012-anti-angling One such place was Germany, where activists found it was easy to project the view that humans are “no longer part of nature”, especially when most people think their food comes from the supermarket. For people who are completely divorced from nature, its an easy stretch for anti-fishing activists to extend to them the feelings-based theories that fish are human-like, “feel pain” and “suffer”, and use dodgy science messages to get activities such as catch and release banned as a result. This is not the first time we have seen such confused, mixed emotive welfare/rights/conservation messages arising from WA, and it is almost certainly not going to be the last. Why? Because the urban majority have largely lost their connection to the natural environment, attitudes to wildlife change as studies have shown urban people who have no interaction with wild animals begin to view them in more of a “mutualistic” manner, ie. as friends or pets. In contrast, those people who fish or live traditional or rural lifestyles and actually interact with wildlife and/or farm animals on a regular basis are more likely to see themselves as part of that environment and hold differentviews towards animals, believing they should be managed when necessary and can be used to benefit humans (the so called utilitarian viewpoint). But with a highly urbanized population in Australia and fewer and fewer people collecting their own food these days, more and more we are seeing valid concepts of welfare and conservation being blurred and distorted into the potent mixing pot of social media to arrive at emotive outbursts with animal rights and liberation overtones, even by so called academic experts like Meeuwig. Indeed, its possible that this is the new normal for public debate about recreational fishing in this country going forward, which is why it is worth fishers understanding the underlying drivers behind this phenomena. Its important that people are called out when they mix up valid welfare or conservation concerns with animal rights and liberation philosophies. The latter simply do not work when managing animals which live in the real world in real food chains in the natural environment, which is why only proper, science based management approaches will do.