Thanks for taking the time to read our October 2013 newsletter.
WARNING TO BOATIES
Two boat trailers have been stolen from regional boat ramps last month. On Saturday the 28th of September a member had his 4.3m boat trailer stolen from Constant Creek in the middle of the day. A week later it is reported that a commercial fisher had his trailer stolen from Murray Creek. Anglers may be wise to padlock their trailers to their vehicle.
The crab pot fairy is alive and well in Boundary Creek and Rocky Dam Creek. It’s not a matter of if but when someone is going to be seriously injured getting caught stealing pots but unfortunately there will collateral consequences.
MACKAY BOATING AND FISHERIES STAFFING LEVELS
Departmental spin or creative accounting? Fisheries Queensland has amalgamated Mackay, the Whitsundays and Bowen into one operational region being managed from the Whitsundays.
Sarina commercial crabber Greg Sichter recently received a letter from the Queensland fisheries minister following his complaint about the theft of his crab pots saying in part staffing that Mackay Boating and Fisheries Staffing Levels are eight ( 8).
The truth is staffing levels in Mackay are three, which include one district officer, one field officer and one trainee – the same number of staff as when I arrived in Mackay in 1974 when the then population was 28000, now the population is closer to 100 000.
If one reads the 74 page plus 2010 State Wide Recreational Fishing Survey commissioned by the Queensland Government it says in the executive summary that over one third of all recreational fishers lived in the Brisbane region but the participation rate among local residents was highest in the Mackay and Wide Bay- regions where 28% and 26% of the local residents were recreational fishers.
Over the years we have made dozens of representations to various ministers/shadow ministers for an increase in staffing levels all to no avail.
I would like to conclude on this subject by saying that the staffing level of Mackay Boating and Fisheries Patrol is a BLOODY PUBLIC DISGRACE !
NET FREE PROPOSAL
Another of our projects going gang busters.
Our support documentation includes letters of support from the Mackay Chamber of Commerce, Seaforth Progress Association, Mackay Tourism, the Yuibera Traditional Owners and the Mackay Amateur Fishing Club Association and also from the big guns in the drive tourist market in Australia, namely the Caravan Parks Association of Queensland and the Caravan RV and Accommodation Industry of Australia .
With these credentials government agencies, local and state must take our proposal seriously.
Once again we wish to reinforce our Mackay Recreational Fishers Alliance Inc. position that any displaced commercial fishers must be financially compensated.
Our hard copy petition numbers currently are a tad short of 3000. So far the public and stakeholder support we have received has surpassed our expectation. Our Intention from here on, is to break down the barriers of resistance in the White House , Gordon Street Mackay and George Street Brisbane.
Chill the champers I can feel a net free zone coming on!
ANGLER EDUCATION: Something to brag about !
Another milestone was reached last month when we took our 8000th. student fishing on a day long school fish excursion as part of our Schoolfish Angler Education program.
Glenn Fahy and Mick Connolly our Angler Education co-coordinators and their team of helpers worked with 225 students in September and the year will wrap up with fishing with another 45 children at Cape Hillsborough in October.
The Schoolfish Angler Education program was the brain child of MRFA member Noel Whitehead, and Qld Fisheries officer Brett Depper, with seed funding from the then DPI, Noel and Brett ventured to local schools about 15 years ago, and look at what it has become today.
When the dust settles we will be making an appropriate presentation to the 8000th student and it would be fantastic if Noel and Brett could attend the event along with our long time exclusive Schoolfish sponsors, Greg Camilleri and Brett Griffin of Reef Marine, Prospect Street Mackay.
Incidentally we have excluded the number of children who have participated in our annual family fishing days at Shoal Point or the hundreds of children who have participated in our annual Pioneer River Kids fishing competition, which is sponsored by Tackle World Mackay;
We estimate over 5000 children have participated in these two events alone over the years.
Junior Angler Education is alive and well whilst we are still around and we express our appreciation to our two major sponsors Tackle World Mackay and Reef Marine who make this possible.
2015 is going to be a monster year for Hervey Bay and the Fraser Coast when it hosts the world’s first $ 1 million dollar fishing competition. This event is being sponsored by Tourist Fraser Coast, with funding from the Queensland Events Corporation, our ‘cousins’ Fraser Coast Recreational Fishing Alliance Inc. are partners along with the charter industry and all those involved in recreational fishing on the Fraser Coast. I’m sharpening the hooks, $1 million dollars will lure all the fisher persons in Australia and overseas to the Fraser Coast region.
This will put Hervey Bay, the Fraser Coast and Queensland on the map, congratulations to all involved. More about this exciting venture as information comes to hard.
QUEENSLAND POLLIES IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY SEEKING INFORMATION ABOUT NET FREE ZONES.
Right now, Friday the 11th of October a number of state politicians are in the Northern Territory on a study tour to see firsthand the economic benefits of Net Free Zones, sure hope they come back hooked. !
CRAB MANAGEMENT PLAN
Make sure you have your say! The long awaited crab management plan Regulatory Impact Statement will be released before the end of this year (2013). The community is encouraged to fill in the questionnaire, have your say about crab pot theft, crab pot interference . This is your chance to stand up and be counted.
We commend Fisheries Queensland for expediting this update of the management plan as it’s been half started, aborted, changed, pigeon holed for at least 10 years under the previous government’s administration.
Information will soon be available on the Dept. Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website www.daff.qld.gov.au
We welcome feedback from our members, friends and associates. We can handle the good/bad and ugly. Feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org