ILLEGAL FISHING ACTIVITIES UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT
A recreational fisher has been fined $30,000 plus court costs after he was caught “ poaching “ during the coral finfish closure.
The fisher appeared in the Bundaberg magistrates court in November charged with being in possession of 116 coral finfish during a closed season including six skinless fillets, 93 coral finfish in excess of bag limit, three sharks( bag limit one ) 33 pearl perch(bag limit five )and undersize fish. The fisher was intercepted at Round Hill Creek in the town of 1770.
WHITSUNDAY RESIDENTS UP IN ARMS
Early in November, Whitsunday Boating and Fisheries Officers caught an unlicensed netter red handed in the Proserpine River (which is net free) with five giant nets. Rumour has it the person apprehended with an accomplice had taken out more than $30,000 worth of product just before the barra closure.
The fishers boat was seized along with the net can be viewed by googling ‘ Illegal netting in the Proserpine River on the Fisheries Queensland’ Facebook page.
Locals are on a mission to name and shame this fish thief before his day in court and his name is plastered all over the social media along with some unsavoury comments which I can’t print here. The Proserpine River is an iconic barra, king salmon and grunter fishing location and a classic example of where fish are in fair abundance due to its long term protection from commercial extraction.
On behalf of all recreational anglers in Queensland three cheers to Queensland Boating and Fisheries patrol staff.
NET FREE UPDATE
We are pleased to advise members that the Member of Whitsunday Jason Costigan has confirmed in writing support for our proposed net free zone (St. Helens – to - Cape Hillsborough)
The Noosa Shire Council is pledging one million dollars ($1,000,000) to assist in the removal of commercial fishing nets from North Beach. These monies are reported to be funded via the community environment levy. The Noosa Shire Council is to be congratulated for their pro active approach in harnessing the tourist angler dollar addressing the social impact for local residents in regards to recreational fishing and protecting the environment,
Mackay Recreational Fishing Alliance is still struggling to obtain support from Mackay Regional Councillors for their St.Helen’s – Cape Hillsborough proposal.
They claim that net free proposals are state issues and not local government, but pardon my ignorance I thought Noosa was in Queensland!
COMMERCIAL NET BUY BACK SCHEME COMPLETED.
Fisheries Queensland emailed stakeholders on Friday 28th of November 2014 advising that the Queensland Government has delivered on its commitment and completed its $9 million dollar buyback of inshore net fishing licences. Commercial net fishers on the east coast have made the most of the opportunity to participate in the Queensland net buyback scheme.
In just over two years, the scheme has reduced the total potential effort in the east coast net fishery by around 25 per cent. The buyback process has guarded against a simple transfer of effort and provides a significant reduction in effort. Other fisheries will also benefit because additional commercial fishing authorities across the trawl, crab and line fisheries were voluntary surrendered d as part of the process. The Buyback scheme has closed following the expenditure of the remaining funds in the first and second stages of the final scheme.
Since this announcement my email has been running hot. Recreational fishers are disappointed. We all probably had unrealistic expectations of the outcome.
We will be following up with Qld Fisheries. Hopefully, in our next newsletter (January 2015), we will be able to inform members and associates of the types and locations of net endorsements purchased. The LNP election promise about the commercial net buy back is under the microscope by affiliates of our organization. We understand the difficulties and complexities of this and believe that the goal of sustainable fisheries (ecological, economically and social) has come a step closer. We’re here to help much more needed reform.
The next extension of reform should include the implementation of regional zoning (that way commercial fishers can husband their area) severe restrictions on transient operators and the compulsory introduction of vessel monitoring systems (VMS) to all commercial boats and dories which are currently excluded.
There is also the need for better catch data from all sectors including recreational fishers.
The involvement of our Tilapia Army is on the backburner following risk assessments and possible insurance liabilities. However Catchment Solutions, a division of Reef Catchments have been conducting field electro fishing by foot and boat in the Gooseponds and adjoining waterways. No Tilapia have been found (this does not mean they are not there). It appears that the barra in the goose ponds are thriving. Catchment Solutions is using “high tech” by taking water samples and having the water DNA analysed for the presence of the pest. The Botanical Gardens off Lagoon Street has been identified as a possible Tilapia habitat. Catchment Solutions will be testing this waterway as part of a routine investigation.
Catchment Solution have also confirmed that they will be investing in 500 barra fingerlings which will be seeded in water holes in Jane Creek upstream of the Gooseponds by the Mackay Area Fish Stocking Group.
2015 DATE CLAIMERS
FREE TO THE COMMUNITY.
Take A Kid Fishing Day – Shoal Point Sunday 8th March. – Exclusively sponsored by Tackle World Shakespeare Street Mackay.
Pioneer River Junior Angler fishing competition - $ 4,000.00 worth of prizes up for grabs – Sunday 16 August
More information in future news.