Murky waters: Understanding and responding to unprovoked shark bite

Nov 11, 2015 - 2:34 PM - by Daryl McPhee
A shark cull in northern New South Wales in response to the recent spate of unprovoked shark bites is not the short term answer to the problem, according to a Bond University shark expert.

Dr Daryl McPhee, Associate Dean of Research at Bond University, said it would take approximately 18 months to prepare the necessary documentation and undertake the consultation to meet the Commonwealth environmental assessment requirements, and would most likely be unsuccessful.

He will be delivering a keynote address into shark ecology and shark attack mitigation at Bond University's Research Week, running from November 16 to 20. The event is held annually to showcase the diverse research underway at the private Gold Coast University.

"When a series of shark bites occur at a particular location over a short period of time, the issue becomes a societal problem where the Government faces heavy pressure to intervene," said Dr McPhee.

... [Read More]
10 Replies | 816 Views

Anyone catching parrot fish and surgeonfish in Moreton Bay ?

Oct 28, 2015 - 10:48 AM - by Ben D
I have just been looking at a new paper which is extolling the virtues of green zones in Moreton Bay. It is by Olds et al. (2014) "Marine reserves help coastal ecosystems cope withextreme weather" Global Change Biology 20: 3050-3058. In it they say that coral reefs in green zones in Moreton Bay survived and recovered from the 2011 floods much better than reefs outside the green zones, and they reckon this is due to fishers taking herbivorous fish from the areas that remain fishable. The species they are talking about are blue barred parrotfish (Scarus ghobban) and surgeonfish/Australian sawtail (Prionurus microlepidotus), and they also mention happy moments (Siganus fuscescens). Populations of these were apparently higher in the green zones prior to the flood, and they are trying to say that fishing has affected the recovery of the reefs outside the green zone after the floods.

I am not convinced, as I have never heard of anyone targeting any of these... [Read More]
12 Replies | 1,103 Views

Net Free Zones. Disallowance Motion report

Nov 02, 2015 - 6:37 PM - by Lucky_Phill
Notes from Net Free Area Parliamentary debate

Wednesday 14th October, 2015

Disappointing demonstration by the LNP of what not to expect as far as the behaviour of our elected representatives goes. There was constant murmuring during ALP presentations, sometimes so much so that it was difficult to hear. They listened to none of the ALP presentations and as a result answered none of the points raised

Most surprising was the behaviour of the opposition fisheries spokesperson who most often had her back to the ALP person speaking and was generally speaking and giggling at the same time.
Not a statesman amongst them, lucky Queensland doesn’t have an upper house.

Deb Frecklington

  • Lack of knowledge of Trinity Bay access arrangements
  • No mention of environmental impacts of netting
  • ... [Read More]
2 Replies | 554 Views

Restoring shellfish reefs in our estuaries

Oct 12, 2015 - 11:56 AM - by Ben D
Just a heads up to let everyone know about an exciting national initiative, aiming to protect and restore shellfish reefs in Australian estuaries, that is being launched under the National Environmental Science Program.

Shellfish (oysters, mussels etc) are ecosystem engineers that form the "lungs" of healthy estuaries by providing filtration of the water, uptake of nutrients, stabilising shorelines and food and shelter for fish and crabs. Reefs of shellfish used to be abundant in estuaries around Australia, however, they have mostly been lost since European settlement, due mainly to declining water quality, and historic overfishing. Their loss has lead to flow on issues leading to problems with reduced fisheries productivity and less healthy estuaries.

Overseas experience has shown restoration of living shellfish reefs to be much more effective than artificial reefs for improving water quality and fisheries productivity. Because of this,... [Read More]
8 Replies | 972 Views

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