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  1. #61

    Re: commercial operators can take as many fish as they like over 45cm

    LATEST UPDATE HMMM


    DPI in hot water over jewies

    22 Mar 2012
    By Fishing World editor & publisher Jim Harnwell

    ANGLER outrage about commercial netters exploiting stocks of juvenile mulloway has forced the NSW Fisheries Department to back down on its plans for the fishery.

    Leaked information received by Fishing World last week revealed that Fisheries was planning to allow commercial netters to continue to exploit juvenile mulloway while imposing draconian restrictions on recreational anglers.

    A group comprising commercial and recreational interests, as well as environmentalists and other interested parties, had been working on plans for the mulloway fishery. Commercial fishermen wanted to be able to continue taking undersized mulloway, a move which was rejected by angler representatives.

    Sources close to the process today told Fisho that a plan for the netters to take an as yet unverified number of mulloway from 45cm and up while restricting anglers to one fish of 75cm, was going to be presented to Fisheries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson. There were no plans by Fisheries to engage in any public consultation on this, the source said.

    The NSW Department of Primary Industries, which incorporates the Fisheries Department, yesterday backed away from any suggestion that a mulloway netting plan was about to be presented for ministerial sign-off. It also announced that a public consultation process would now be instigated.

    "As various options are still under consideration, there is no current proposal in relation to bag/size limits for mulloway," a DPI spokesperson said.

    "Given the importance of the species to all fishers, the Department will run a further and wider consultation process once the key options have been compiled. This will involve a website outlining the relevant facts and options, with the facility to lodge online comments.

    "This will enable broader community views to be taken into account before a final decision is made on the best way to recover the mulloway resource. Fishing World will be notified once the webpage and options are available for comment."

    Anglers have welcomed the apparent back down by the Fisheries Department on the mulloway issue. This move follows strong criticism of the Department and the Minister over recent decisions involving increased netting for salmon and indigenous fishing rights which were made behind closed doors and allowed little or no angler input.

    "This news shows that protests from anglers about the proposed plans to allow the pros to continue to net undersized jewies seems to have worked. We understand that they were going to put these plans to the Minister. Now they aren't. Fisheries weren't going to consult on this, now they are. That's a good result. Now we need the Minister to step in and make decisions about this fishery which are based on science," a prominent recreational fishing source told Fisho.

    Various online polls reveal overwhelming support for an immediate ban on the commercial exploitation of juvenile mulloway. A survey posted on a social media forum last week revealed that 79.4 per cent of anglers want to see the mulloway size limit increased from 45cm to between 60-80cm in order to allow a fish to breed at least once before it is extracted, either by commercial netters or by anglers.
    The survey also revealed that 65.4 per cent of anglers were happy to reduce bag limits down from the current limit of five mulloway per day. Further, 97 per cent of surveyed anglers said the NSW Government should ban commercial fishing for juvenile mulloway.
    These numbers are reflected in an ongoing poll on the Fishing World website which reveals that 98 per cent of respondents do not agree with commercial netting of juvenile mulloway.
    Jewie science
    Scientific data reveals that jewfish only reach breeding size at about 70cm. Increasing the size limit to allow the fish to breed before they are extracted is considered by many anglers and scientists as being vital if stocks are to remain viable.

    Commercial operators are using a "financial hardship" argument as part of their claim to continue netting juvenile fish.

    Anglers have long pushed for better management of mulloway stocks - in 2005 an angler-led proposal to increase the size limit to 60cm was vetoed by commercial fishing efforts ľ and there have been serious concerns about the sustainability of mulloway stocks for at least 30 years.

    "Recreational anglers are responsible custodians of the resource, and if we have good, current and solid science that says we need to make some changes in our practices at a recreational fishing level to rebuild the stocks then we will accept this," Stan Konstantaras, from ANSA NSW, said yesterday.

    "We also want to see meaningful reductions in the commercial harvest of mulloway and a no-take on undersized fish and some changes to the estuary prawn trawl practices that impact on juvenile mulloway. ANSA NSW would like an opportunity to provide our members' input in a truly transparent process."

    Although it has caved in to pressure over consultation and has also apparently shelved plans to put forward a proposal allowing netters to target juvenile fish, NSW Fisheries has so far refused to detail the options it is exploring for mulloway stocks.

    "The DPI is currently considering a range of options, noting each has different implications relating to the rate of recovery of the resource and impacts on harvest levels," a spokesperson said.

    "All harvest sectors have a significant role to play in the recovery program for mulloway. NSW DPI will deliver an overall solution that rebuilds the mulloway resource while minimising impacts on all types of harvest activities."

    Fisho yesterday sent a series of questions to Fisheries relating to the mulloway issue. Late yesterday afternoon we received a statement. Below are the questions with the responses received in bold.
    Q: Can you confirm the details of the options currently being considered re mulloway. IE, is NSW DPI looking at an option that would restrict anglers to one fish per day while continuing to allow commercial operators to exploit juvenile fish?

    A:
    No response.

    Q: Is NSW DPI considering any sort of moratorium on the capture of mulloway for both the commercial and recreational sectors?

    A:
    No response.
    Q: When do you expect a proposal concerning mulloway management will be presented to the Minister?

    A:
    No response.
    Q: Can you provide full details of all the options NSW DPI is considering in relation to mulloway?

    A:
    NSW DPI is currently pulling together several key options (covering all harvest sectors) based on the available scientific knowledge of the status, biology and life history of the stock as well as views provided by various groups to date. It is not appropriate to release the options at this time because they are yet to be fully compiled and developed. Given the importance of the species to all fishers, the Department will run a further and wider consultation process once the key options have been compiled. This will involve a website outlining the relevant facts and options, with the facility to lodge online comments. This will enable broader community views to be taken into account before a final decision is made on the best way to recover the mulloway resource. Fishing World will be notified once the webpage and options are available for comment.

    Q: Has DPI done any socio-economic studies on the relative worth of mulloway as a rec-only species as opposed to the fishery being open to commercial exploitation?
    A: No response.
    Q: There is concern in rec fishing circles that there is not enough transparency regarding these sort of fisheries management decisions. Is the NSW DPI satisfied that it is doing enough to let stakeholders know about its plans concerning mulloway? I ask this question in light of other recent decisions/proposals being put forward by NSW DPI - ie, the salmon netting decision, the indigenous fishing strategy etc. Many in rec fishing circles are concerned that these decisions etc were "sprung" on us as opposed to allowing full community discussion. Has DPI got any comments in relations to these concerns? Does DPI think it can do a better job in relation to communicating better with the rec fishing community?
    A: No response.
    Q: Can you confirm that commercial fishing interests on the Mulloway Resource Planning Group have vetoed rec reps' amendments and/or opposition to proposals concerning future management of mulloway stocks?
    A: The RPG is not a voting committee.
    Q: Can you provide details on the Mulloway Resource Planning Group - ie, list the members of the group, their positions and which stakeholder groups they represent?
    A: According to the DPI statement, the department is talking with various groups, including the expertise-based Mulloway Resource Planning Group, the Advisory Council on Recreational Fishing, the (former) Ocean Trap and Line Management Advisory Committee, the Professional Fishermen's Association and EcoFishers. Editor's note: The DPI failed to answer the question relating to who actually makes up the Mulloway Resource Planning Group.
    Q: Can you provide details on how the RPG was formulated and how long it has been considering the mulloway issue?
    A: No response.
    Q: Can you provide details on any other RPGs that are currently in operation?
    A: No other RPGs are currently in operation at this time (mulloway was given priority).
    Q: Can you advise on what level of input ACORF has had in relation to the mulloway issue? Can you provide details on what information ACORF has had on the mulloway planning process and detail when this info was presented to the ACORF members. Further, have there been any private briefings or info sessions given to ACORF members, either singly or as part of a group?
    A: No response.
    Q: Can you advise if any other groups (rec, commercial, environment groups etc) have been given any briefings or updates on plans regarding the mulloway fishery? If so, please provide details.
    A: No response.
    Q: Can DPI provide any data on estuary prawn trawling activities in the Hawkesbury and Clarence rivers in relation to juvenile mulloway bycatch? Does DPI see any threats to mulloway populations as a result of trawler bycatch? If so, what management options are being considered?
    A: No response.
    Q: Does DPI have any evidence to suggest that there is any black market activity in relation to mulloway? Is DPI concerned that reported numbers of mulloway caught by commercial operators do not reflect the actual catch?
    A: No response.
    Stay tuned for more on the mulloway issue as soon as it comes to hand. Chek out the initial news story HERE and a comment piece by Fisho editor Jim Harnwell HERE.
    Shut up and fish

  2. #62

    Re: commercial operators can take as many fish as they like over 45cm

    http://www.fishingworld.com.au/news/...t-do-you-think

    Here is the link guys and gals if you want to vote .
    Cheers Rob
    Shut up and fish

  3. #63

    Re: commercial operators can take as many fish as they like over 45cm

    Untill we stop netting and traping estuaries and inshore reefs and untill we keep both Commercial and rec fishers away from spawning aggregations I'm affraid we are all just pissing into a stiff southerly......period.

  4. #64

    Lightbulb Re: commercial operators can take as many fish as they like over 45cm

    It's pretty simple maths , they don't breed until ~70cms......

    MINSIZE should be ~70cms , before being allowed to be sold/eaten

  5. #65

    Re: commercial operators can take as many fish as they like over 45cm

    I would like to see an increased size limit on these fish to 70cm or around that size.
    I know the jew come into the river at ballina at least twice a year to spawn and they cop a fair flogging from amateurs and pros alike.
    Having a closed season may help as it has with the snapper fishery in South Australia but you have to find fishos that are willing to stop fishing for them.
    I get a bit pissed off with the large numbers of 45cm jew that are kept and see in fish boxes at shops and also in fishos buckets. Bit of a waste when you can see their potential.

    From memory Fisheries released about 20,000 to 30,000 jew fingerlings (dont quote me on this figure)
    into the Tweed,Richmond and Clarence Rivers each year for the last 5 to 6 years and a few of us were called on by the UNI to catch small jew (a few years back ) in a required size bracket for studies as one or two of the first release batches had been fed and/or immersed in a dye so as to show up in the schoolies bones and give them an idea as to how many of the fish stayed in the system and to check growth rates for that particular release batch.

  6. #66

    Re: commercial operators can take as many fish as they like over 45cm

    This is a thread from fishraider forum 2005
    I found this info ,thought it was of interest,but you will have to register to open the attachments as they don't accept free email accounts and that's what i have .Anyone with bigpond like to join


    sorry i've been off the radar for so long, things have been pretty hectic :wacko: . I am just about to update our FAMER website, however i have attached the speel from the new tracking page and a habitat map we created. Yes, the long promised tracking information is finally here. I have the project being reviewed for publication at the moment, but when it is published i will be sure to make it available on the website for those who want the complete story with all its scientific nuance.

    Tracking_Map1.pdf (114.29K) http://www.fishraider.com.au/Invisio...showtopic=8921 I found this info ,thought it was of interest,but you will have to register as they dont acept free email accounts and that's what i have .
    Cheers Rob
    Number of downloads: 140

    If you dont have a GPS, the tributary at the top right hand corner is salt pan (NOT little salt pan, which is the next embayment along the Northern Bank). I have also mapped bathymetry data for the Richmond, Tweed, Hastings, Manning and Georges River, however haven't worked up the data into a map yet.

    The spawning behavior of mulloway in NSW remains largely unknown. The_Dredded_Eel gives a good description of what we think happens, however at the moment there is no data to say whether or not this is fact. My views are similar, except that spawning takes place at the mouths of estuaries, with larvae transported up the estuary, rather than juveniles actively swimming to the lower salinity areas of the estuary. Either one of us could be right, but too my knowledge the

    Hi one and all-

    sorry i've been off the radar for so long, things have been pretty hectic :wacko: . I am just about to update our FAMER website, however i have attached the speel from the new tracking page and a habitat map we created. Yes, the long promised tracking information is finally here. I have the project being reviewed for publication at the moment, but when it is published i will be sure to make it available on the website for those who want the complete story with all its scientific nuance.

    If you dont have a GPS, the tributary at the top right hand corner is salt pan (NOT little salt pan, which is the next embayment along the Northern Bank). I have also mapped bathymetry data for the Richmond, Tweed, Hastings, Manning and Georges River, however haven't worked up the data into a map yet.

    The spawning behavior of mulloway in NSW remains largely unknown. The_Dredded_Eel gives a good description of what we think happens, however at the moment there is no data to say whether or not this is fact. My views are similar, except that spawning takes place at the mouths of estuaries, with larvae transported up the estuary, rather than juveniles actively swimming to the lower salinity areas of the estuary. Either one of us could be right, but too my knowledge there is no reliable scientifc information out there to say which one??!! Spawning time is GENERALLY between November and March.
    Never fear, we have noted this gap in mulloway knowledge, and I am just about to commence a 4 year experiment to get a solid indication of what is going on.

    I am going to retrive the listening posts from the mouth of the river in December, so hopefully will have some real answers about seasonal migration soon. These have stored data which should reveal when fish leave the estuary, and how many come back.

    Anyway, hope the map is useful, if you are shore fishing go on the south bank, as it is much less crowded.....

    Cheers :beersmile:,

    Matt
    Tracking_Map1.pdf (114.29K)
    Number of downloads: 83
    Shut up and fish

  7. #67

    Re: commercial operators can take as many fish as they like over 45cm

    Given that it appears nothing will change in the short term (I'd love to be wrong) personally I reckon it will be very interesting to see the level of commercial effort at this seasons mullet run.

  8. #68

    Re: commercial operators can take as many fish as they like over 45cm

    Quote Originally Posted by deckie View Post
    Thats the same excuse they used 30 years ago. Also used in Tunaville SA and Salmonville Tas.

    Why would any fisho mind if there were a cpl of dozen large ring nets in Moreton if the fishing was smokin hot.
    Yes and its still used because its a extremely valid argument....Tunaville?...salmonville?....yep exactly, that's great if you want a mono culture. Talking and listening to world leaders on fish habitat, habitat contamination is a real issue.

    I'm not against fish farming either. I believe it will play a large role in feeding our ever growing world population, but at what cost.

    Another perspective, we sit here at our keyboards complaining about who should be allowed to catch a 45cm mulloway. Biomass recruitment that is limited by fish habitat hasn't been discussed and is a major issue for the governing bodies. Mulloway stocking in the Richmond has provided a bonanza for the average fisho, suddenly the average prawn dangler could and still can catch a school jew on a frozen servo prawn and the local wharf. How long will that last. Well until the pro's and moral deprived rec's fishers catchem all I guess. What happens after that?....duno about you fellas but I always believed if you could find bait plus/habitat (structure) you would find the fish. Research into fish habitat and biomass suggests that stocking is only a short term solution and in some countries has been discontinued for that reason. The emphasis now on habitat rehabilitation. If you don't understand what I'm talking about how many of you have caught a bass/cod/barra/ jack (and the list goes on) in a river with a flat sand/mud bottom with fast unobstructed deoxygenated, environmentally polluted water? Same works for jew. Small mulloway feed on crustaceans and small baitfish fish (that also feed on crustaceans). If there's no bait there's no mulloway you can stick as many as you like in there but you end up with a scenario similar to the Dumeresq River where the majority of cod have reached 50-60cm and there's not enough tucker for them to grow beyond that point, they either move on or die. Mulloway fry require seagrass and structure for cover...how much of thats left in the Richmond and what is left is disappearing at a frightening rate

    One of the reasons I have bought this subject up is that I was lucky enough to attend last years fish habitat conference in Tamworth. A range of issues were covered. Armed with buckets of information and the right contacts and access to funding I returned to my home town full of enthusiasm. I spoke with several of my mates who I considered pretty good fisho's. I suggested we rehabilitated some stretches of river to help improve bass fishing. The response was not what I expected...."good luck with that" springs to mind.

    with all that in mind we get back to this statement by Nigel, and this is not in any way a shot at you mate, just the attitude of many.

    Noelm, stonecold, true what you both say; so better we just shut up and do nothing?
    For those that are interested in the habitat topic visit here
    http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/...tating/fishers

  9. #69

    Re: commercial operators can take as many fish as they like over 45cm

    Personally stonecold I believe you are totally correct re habitat degradation, and add to that on-going deterioration of water quality within river systems, would there be a coastal river in NSW/Sthn. Qld. that hasn't been affected by these issues.........
    Just more pieces of a very complex puzzle with many vested interests vieing for their view to be the dominant one..........
    Would I be overly cynical if I thought Govts. of any persuasion would be most attracted to the lowest-cost solutions.........
    Cheers.

  10. #70

    Re: commercial operators can take as many fish as they like over 45cm

    No Nigel the low cost option isn't necessarily the most attractive. They want the job done... and done right. It was interesting that the most aware and active in rehabilitating the river systems, both coastal and inland were the farmers...not the fishermen.

  11. #71

    Re: commercial operators can take as many fish as they like over 45cm

    I have found that egg laden female mulloway and milt laden males come into the Richmond at 2 specific times of the year so I guess they are there to spawn.
    I dont know about spawning taking place at the mouth of a river system but I do know for certain that these big fish in spawning mode have been found as far as 30km up the Richmond river so they travel extensively.
    Not too many amatuers know where they sit in the river system when they do come in but the local Pros do and use sinking gill nets that are 2metres high and sit on the riverbed and go most of the way across the river Holes.
    There was a large Pro catch of mature fish taken between Woodburn and Broadwater around 6 years back.

    I checked up on the fingerling release and it was close to 30,000 first released in 2 release periods in 2007.
    These fish reach the "legal" size of 45cm within 2 years.
    Releasing the fingerlings was a big boost for natural stocks but somewhat dampened by the fact that a lot of these fish did not make it to maturity by causes other than natural.
    Changing the rules for amatuers will help protect these fish but the pros need to change as well as it is their livelyhood at stake here too.
    They have the whole ocean to take from so I reckon it would produce a better tourist and business economy in this area if the rivers and beaches were protected from the damage netting does.
    I know the pros do very well with linefishing for jew off Evans Heads every year at the start of the mullet run with hundreds of kgs of jew caught in a night and this is straight from the guys that buy off the Pros.

    Habitat destruction has a big part to play in the Biology of the ocean but so has large scale removal of the fishes food source, mullet etc.

    You dont see cattle farmers digging all their grass up to sell to someone else or selling their best breeding stock. That would be bad economics!

    I think it is better that everyone has a "rant" than sit there and take it without even a whimper of discontent.

    cheers, steve.

  12. #72

    Re: commercial operators can take as many fish as they like over 45cm

    Quote Originally Posted by rabbi View Post

    I checked up on the fingerling release and it was close to 30,000 first released in 2 release periods in 2007.
    These fish reach the "legal" size of 45cm within 2 years.
    Steve,
    Does this mean that the undersize fish people are catching you mentioned earlier are not a result of stocking as you said here:

    Quote Originally Posted by rabbi View Post

    Most of these little schoolies that people are catching are Restocked fish.
    Was it just the Richmond and the Tweed that got stocked on the far north coast? Didn't the Georges river and I think the Manning get stocked also?

    Quote Originally Posted by rabbi View Post
    They have the whole ocean to take from so I reckon it would produce a better tourist and business economy in this area if the rivers and beaches were protected from the damage netting does.
    I know the pros do very well with linefishing for jew off Evans Heads every year at the start of the mullet run with hundreds of kgs of jew caught in a night and this is straight from the guys that buy off the Pros.
    What difference do you see in pro's catching hundreds of kgs of jew by handline compared to 12 jew in a trawl net? Is it just the fact that netting is unacceptable to you?

  13. #73

    Re: commercial operators can take as many fish as they like over 45cm

    I got a reply from DR MATT Taylor regarding an experiment that he did a few years ago on jewfish .ABSTRACT: The preferred habitats, home range and activity patterns of sub-adult mulloway Argyrosomus
    japonicus (Sciaenidae) in the Georges River, New South Wales, Australia, were investigated
    using ultrasonic telemetry. Tags were surgically implanted in 9 hatchery-reared and 12 wild-caught
    mulloway (330 to 730 mm total length, TL). Fish were tracked for 2 periods of continuous tracking
    over 72 h in a 15 km section of river, once daily for a 20 d period, and up to 3 times moľ1 for 11 mo.
    Key habitats were identified as discrete holes or basins up to 20 m deep. Mulloway preferred this
    deep hole habitat as small fish (hatchery-reared, 300 to 500 mm TL) remained in these deep holes
    both day and night, while large fish (wild, 500 to 800 mm TL) ventured outside the holes at night.
    Maximum home range of small and large mulloway was 6000 and 17710 m2, respectively, and home
    range correlated significantly with length. Small fish moved up to 7 km dľ1 while large fish moved up
    to 16 km dľ1. Small fish released in shallow water initially had significantly greater movements than
    those released directly over deep holes, with movement up to 10 km in 3 d. Activity patterns varied
    between small and large fish, with significantly larger movements by large fish during the night and
    early morning than daytime. Five wild-caught mulloway tracked over 11 mo showed strong fidelity
    to holes within their particular home range. Mulloway should be stocked directly into their deep
    holes to minimise movements. The use of key habitats by mulloway indicate that their survival will
    be sensitive to stocking density. Optimal stocking density could be estimated from the area of key
    habitat in the target estuary.

    Key habitat and home range of mulloway Argyrosomus
    japonicus in a south-east Australian estuary:
    finding the estuarine niche to optimise stocking
    Matthew D. Taylor1,*, Shawn D. Laffan1, D. Stewart Fielder2, Iain M. Suthers1
    1School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney,
    New South Wales 2052, Australia
    2Port Stephens Fisheries Centre, New South Wales Fisheries, Taylors Beach, New South Wales 2316, Australia if anyone's interested send me a pm with your email and ill forward it to you as its way to long to post.
    Cheers Rob


    Dr. Matt Taylor
    | Senior Scientist Fisheries Enhancement | Wild Fisheries Program
    NSW Primary Industries | Port Stephens Fisheries Institute
    Shut up and fish

  14. #74

    Re: commercial operators can take as many fish as they like over 45cm


  15. #75

    Re: commercial operators can take as many fish as they like over 45cm

    Hey matt,
    The restocking has been an annual event for the last 5 to 6 years and it normally occurs twice a year in the Richmond at least and thats why there have been prolific schools of small jew in various stages of growth development.
    I recall that they may have done restocking further south of here too.

    As far as netting goes matt, I believe that they have the ability to undo a lot of the rivers ability to recover by itself by destroying habitat and killing huge amounts of juvenile fish. The potential for the river to recover is there but there needs to be some conservation measures in place to ensure that it has a chance to do that.

    Nets are not selective especially trawl nets where anything caught in the back of the net is killed. I realise that there has been a lot done to ensure a lot of bycatch has the chance to escape with improved netting methods which is a plus.

    What really bites me is that we amateurs land only a small portion of what we hook(especially jew) as they have every chance to escape, or are released by fishos who let undersize (and oversize)fish go back to the river(apart from a few people who fill buckets with whatever they hook, bigger fines and more fisheries officers can help that problem).

    Nets have one use and that is to take out whole schools of fish in one shot.

    South Ballina beach is a big fish desert after the mullet netters have gone through it in winter.

    When the jew netters have had a big week up the river it will take around about a month or two before we see small numbers of them creeping back into the system.

    I keep records every year of my own personal jew fishing sessions and for the last few years I have been getting mostly juvenile fish and the bigger fish are just not there in any numbers anymore....

    I am all for reducing the jew bag limit and upping the legal keep size but what is the point if we legally are obliged to do that when other groups have open slather and take all they can catch.
    Blows the sustainability and conservation reasoning out of the water, Doesn't it!!??

    Wish I was good at playing golf (But then would someone would come along and take all the golf balls?)
    Just having a good whinge guys cause I have spent too many hours fishing for little or no fish. Coulda been doing something productive!
    Cheers, steve.

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