Mackay Recreational Fishing Alliance- July Newsletter
General Report- Seaforth- St. Helens Net Free Proposal Campaign
We are encouraged by the feedback from proponents of similar net free zones in Trinity Inlet - Cairns, Kepple Bay, Hervey Bay, and Weipa, all are on our email data base. The spot light is truly on Mackay and we receive daily encouragement from the above locations, and there are whispers that our campaign has been discussed at length by the big guns in Canberra, we are privy to confidential information that will come to light hopefully before the federal election.
On the local scene, we attended the two day Tinny and Tackle Show at the Mackay Marina, and the Seaforth Fishing Classic, it was bloody hard word, but we were rewarded for effort. We are under the pump by local advocates to extend our net free boundaries from Cape to Cape – Cape Hillsborough to Cape Repulse, this would mean in effect that the O’Connell River, The Thompsons, Repulse Creek and others would also be net free- If this area was declared a net free zone, there is no doubt that such a proposal would attract international tourists.
The door is open for residents at Proserpine, The Whitsunday’s , and Midge Point to come on board, without their support Cape to Cape is but a dream, having said that, if we are able to secure Seaforth – St. Helens, it will be far too late to include the other locations – it’s now or never !
Net Free Zone Petition Success
Our Net Free Zone petition is slowly growing thanks to your support. Currently we have over 380 signatures after just a few weeks of doing stalls and events. Thanks for your support!
Increased Membership Makes Us Stronger
Recently our membership has grown by over 200 new people since we started the Net Free Zone campaign. This means that when we go to meet with politicians to improve recreational fishing in Mackay we are going to get heard!
Views on Dredging Fishers Survey
Community group Communities Protecting our Region (www.dudgeonpoint.org) are doing a survey to find out what concerns fishers have about the impacts of dredging. Please click here to fill out the survey and make sure your views are heard! Recently GRMPA revealed research showing how dredging impacts may be much worse than scientists originally thought- read more here!http://subseaworldnews.com/2013/06/04/gbrmpa-new-details-on-seabed-dredging-australia/
We Stand for Recreational Fishers Only!
Past newsletters have created some confusion because at the bottom of the email there was small italicised writing that mentioned the Mackay Conservation Group. This was only because one of our volunteers is also a volunteer at the conservation group and was using the same email server. We now have our own email system. We are not linked to the MCG and reject any accusations that we are. MCG provide us with a free and accessible meeting space that we are grateful for.
Annual General Meeting Wednesday 21st of August
Our Annual General Meeting ( election of office bearers) is scheduled for Wednesday 21st. August 2013, all positions will be declared vacant; if you are able to assist or wish to nominate any person please attend the meeting or seek a proxy vote form from our secretary Margaret Hope 49 550660
MRFA Committee Meetings
The MRFA committee meets once per month on the 3rd Wednesday at 156 Wood St Mackay, 7pm sharp. Our next meeting will be today, Wednesday the 17th. If you want to be involved in the work and decision making of MRFA this is the place for it!
You are welcome to come along and help support recreational fishers!!!
Pioneer River Kids Only Fishing Competition
Bring your kids along to the River St Boat Ramp on Sunday the 4th of August for a great day out, and why not when there are prizes worth in excess of $4000 up for grabs.
Proudly sponsored by Neil and Helen Elworthy, proprietors of Tackle World Mackay , and co –ordinated by Mackay Recreational Fishers Alliance. Inc.
More information can be obtained by phoning Glenn Fahy 07 49 550665
Bob Irwin Speaking Event in Mackay
Come and hear why our Reef is too great to lose. Life long animal protector Bob Irwin invites you to join him for a special event to hear why the greatest reef on earth needs our help. Places are limited so RSVP today. All welcome.
RSVP by clicking here! http://www.dudgeonpoint.org/bob_irwin_in_mackay
WHEN: August 07, 2013 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm
WHERE: Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre, Alfred Street, Mackay
Common Definitions Across Fisheries Management Needed
FISH swim between States and Commonwealth waters daily but Australia still lacks a national standard that would allow better management of the resource for both commercial and recreational purposed and ecosystem health.
Dr Trevor Ward who wrote the marine section of the 2011 Australian State of the Environment Report said without a standard there would be no integrated approach to the management of the precious national resource.
He said there was an overwhelming need to increase the stock of all fish species, a move that would enable both the commercial and recreational sectors to increase catches. Dr Ward argues that ultimately only closed marine areas would allow that to occur.
Ideally stocks should be maintained at 75% of their original biomass but Dr Ward said a figure of between 40-50% would be a worthwhile initial target.
Dr Ward was commenting after the release of data that shows the commercial catch of tailor on the Cooloola-Fraser coast has fallen substantially in the past decade.
He said a huge problem was that Australia had no common language around fish management and five or six different ways of reporting sustainability.
The Queensland Government last week said the number of sustainable fish species in Queensland had risen from 28 to 31 with only one of 75, snapper, considered unsustainable with the rest been "uncertain" or "undefined".
Dr Ward said the parameters used by fisheries’ managers across Australia to define sustainability were ecologically very low and in many cases represented as little as 25% of what total numbers would be if no fishing occurred.
At those level stocks had only limited resilience to the impacts of climate change, pests, fishing, chemical run off and seasonal weather variations.
"Ecologists argue that sustainable fishing should maintain 75% of the unfished biomass,’’ he said.
"The irony is that if it was at 75% - and it would take a big leap to get there – catches could be doubled from what they are now. It would provide security and certainty."
Dr Ward said ultimately closing areas in the right places was the only way forward that would benefit the commercial and recreational sectors.
Globally the approach had proved infinitely move successful than bag and size limits which did not control the total catch.
"The truth is that in smart fishing systems commercial fishermen make more money when closed areas are put where they are needed."
He said the fishing industry argument was simply wrong that fisheries could only be properly managed when they had total access.