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  1. #1

    STOP Commercial netting in the Great Sandy Marine Park !

    IT’S TIME to end damaging commercial netting in the Great Sandy Marine Park!


    The Great Sandy Marine Park is THE ONLY Marine Park that allows commercial netting in what “should be” TRUE YELLOW CONSERVATION ZONE AREAS!


    Ending damaging commercial netting in the Great Sandy Marine Park – which has already been tentatively listed as a World Heritage Area, will bring a much needed boost to an environment deserving of proper marine protection.
    Using commercial nets to:



    • Target spawning aggregations MUST BE STOPPED
    • Target bream, whiting and flathead in conservation park yellow zones MUST BE STOPPED
    • Target top level predators like mackerel , trevally, barramundi , threadfin salmon and shark MUST BE STOPPED
    • Target low food value but high recreational fishing value fish like Golden Trevally, Snub nosed dart ( Permit ) , Queenfish, Giant Herring etc. MUST BE STOPPED
    • Incidentally catch dugongs and marine turtles is definitely MUST BE STOPPED

    Sign this PETITION to request Dr Steven Miles - Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef and the Palaszczuk State Government to commit to ending destructive commercial netting operations in the Great Sandy Marine Park and adjacent waterways under the current full term 10 year review to restore fish stocks and help protect the Queensland urban coast’s largest dugong population.

    Sign NOW @ https://www.change.org/p/dr-steven-m...dy-marine-park

    And share with ALL your friends & Contacts ....

    Thanks Scott Mitchell

    Chairman
    Fraser Coast Fishing Alliance Inc.
    So Many Fish - So little time !

    I Proudly support the following companies: Shimano, G.Loomis, The Haines Group, Scientific Anglers, Abel Reels, Lowrance

  2. #2

    Re: STOP Commercial netting in the Great Sandy Marine Park !

    So your signature line is 'so many fish.... So little time' yet people trying to feed their families commercially can't fish?

  3. #3

    Re: STOP Commercial netting in the Great Sandy Marine Park !

    Ahh - now I understand ....

    This is not purely about declining fish stocks - although any one with some history on the water in the Great Sandy Straits ( Or inshore areas of Queensland for that matter ! ) will suggest they have witnessed declining fish numbers over time. I still remember what the world class golden trevally fishery looked like on the flats South of Moon Point only 10 years ago - Now hardly worth spending the time drifting across as they are like a desert !

    This is more about which sector will return the highest economic yield for the local communities / resource sharing. You only need to look to our North at the NEW Net Free ZONES to see what can happen with increased recreational fishing tourism once the nets are removed - and there has not been any "fresh local fish " shortages in those areas since the nets came out either.

    It was a poor political decision that created the Great Sandy Marine Park 10 years ago - And it will take "political will" to now "correct it" under the full term review...

    Lets see what the wider recreational fishing sector wants ...

    Regards Scotto
    So Many Fish - So little time !

    I Proudly support the following companies: Shimano, G.Loomis, The Haines Group, Scientific Anglers, Abel Reels, Lowrance

  4. #4

    Re: STOP Commercial netting in the Great Sandy Marine Park !

    This is a really problematic argument and hope, but doubt,it will have a happy ending. As someone with a foot in both camps, as a lifelong and passionate recreational fisher, and a buyer, in large volumes, of commercially caught fish and seafood I can see both sides of the argument, and see through the self-interests on both sides. There is no easy answer. Thereare however a few points up for debate.

    1. The argument that a kilo of recreational fish is worth more than a kilo of commercial fish. At face value this seems plausible,but is it? If a guy is going fishing and spends, say, $100 for a day out, has $50,000 invested in a boat and gear, with a holding cost of 10% and catches ,say 100 kgs of fish a year in 20 trips. The fish has a nominal value of $70 a kg. If he catches 200 kgs its value is $35 a kg. The value of a day’s fishing however is seldom measured by the value of the fish caught, many people let them go in any case and it is a matter of how much more, or less fish would affect the persons choice to fish and what tourism/visitor impact will be better recreational fishery have. Certainly works for the Top End.

    2. The argument that a kilo of fish to a pro is only worth the wholesale return is flawed. It is the value to the end user and multiplier effects on the economy which has to be considered. As some people will know, I am I the seafood restaurant industry and buy a lot of locally caught fish, both inshore netted and offshore line caught. A kg of barramundi I buy off a pro for $28 ends up on a plate at about $100 and employs chefs, waitstaff and cleaners along the way. It pays GST, commercial rent and the myriad of costs associated with running a restaurant so is its value $28 a kg or $100?Tourists come to North Queensland beachside destinations to holiday and dining,most particularly dining on local seafood is a major driver in people’s decisions when choosing a destination. The many many Chinese guests we now cater to are absolutely fixated on local seafood, and, I might add, can’t believe how cheapit is. Loss of this product would certainly impact on our tourism industry and I would suggest Hervey Bays industry as well.

    3. Commercial fishers are, at times, their own worst enemies. Even up here I have seen them target Permit and Goldens, and Queenfish. All enormously important recreational targets and yet barely catfood status to the markets. I have seen them deliberately target really big Barra,which are tough, too big for the restaurant trade and just end up low grade product in the Sydney fish market and do damage to the local brood stock, all because they take a view that “if I don’t get them someone else will”.

    4. The license system itself almost encourages a dog eat dog attitude amongst commercial fishers. Any number, particularly if they have been displaced from another closed zone, can descend on any fisheryand smash it in the quest to make a buck. There are 2 types of commercial fishers, one, like a farmer, has a plot and a vested interest in looking after his plot so he can continue to have a crop each year. The other, the blow in; Smash and grab whatever they can get with no consideration of the consequencesas they just move to another “farm” when they have stuffed the one they are working. It would, in my opinion, be far better to have controlled limited numbers of commercial guys, given specific areas to fish, TAC’s on all species and have specified no take species of low commercial value so that the clashes are not so obvious.

    It’s a tough field to plow Scotty and finding a balance isgoing to be really hard. The “compensation” paid to guys to buy back licenses is not sufficient for them to leave the only industry many of them know, and then the system allows them to take the payout as a windfall, lease another licence and some quota and just get straight back on the water.

    Tourism, even in Hervey Bay has many drivers. Catching a fish off the pier or beach in front of the van park is clearly one, having your own boat or going with a guide is another and then fish and chips on the beach or a dinner in a nice seafood restaurant is again, another part of the tourism experience and they are all interlinked. It is utopian but imagine if the only place in Australia to eat Hervey Bay seafood, was actually around Hervey Bay.Not only would it be a tourism driver but it would, on a supply and demand curve reduce the catch volumes and reduce commercial pressure and stop the “blowins” who could not sell into markets where local guys already had relationships with buyers.

    The closures up our way have had a different effect. Around Seaforth it really had a very small scale tourism industry/restaurant industry and while it seems, anecdotally to have already improved the fishery it did so at the expense of the commercial industry with no real flow on positives (yet) to tourism in any meaningful way. How many years it will take to develop a tourism industry off the back of enhanced recreational fishing I don’t know, and don’t know if it ever will. Seaforth is not the Whitsundays. It has however certainly improved the fishing for the locals. Commercial fishers displaced from that area are now, or at least many of them are, fishing Repulse and Sinclair bay.It is getting a lot more pressure and the effect on the fishery is, as yet,unknown. We have just had a fair old blow up here which will also have an impact.

    In simple terms Scotty, there is no easy answer, but a straight out net ban might not be it.

  5. #5

    Re: STOP Commercial netting in the Great Sandy Marine Park !

    Scotty as you move down this path, PM me your personal email address. I can send you the submission made to the Government by The Fishing Party (Qld) in 2005. Many of the things we warned about, have happened, and it may provide some good background information for you. This document was submitted when Desley Boyle was the responsible minister and we did get a few wins in the final park management plan. The very issue of TAC's and commercial fishing restrictions were however ignored.

    kev

  6. #6

    Re: STOP Commercial netting in the Great Sandy Marine Park !

    If it's not about personal interests or dollars, how about a total marine sanctuary, for recs too, will that be the best option??

  7. #7

    Re: STOP Commercial netting in the Great Sandy Marine Park !

    Might be the best option for the fish but would just about destroy the Hervey Bay economy.

  8. #8

    Re: STOP Commercial netting in the Great Sandy Marine Park !

    That will probably be the case, but Scott's ramblings are almost entirely about conserving stocks, well so he says, in reality it's just like everyone else, they hate pros, and want them gone, so "we" can have all our fish, it's a never ending argument that has raged for decades and decades, and it will probably never end.

  9. #9
    Ausfish Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Sunshine Coast

    Re: STOP Commercial netting in the Great Sandy Marine Park !

    So what would be your solution? I don't agree with netting being a sustainable way of fishing and if something is not done then the government will step in and then everyone loses, I heard the stories from my old man and his mates of the decimation of the Bowen local mackerel stocks in the early 70's from gill netting, and history does have a habit of repeating itself


    Sent from my iPhone using Ausfish forums
    Kevlacat 6.2m
    115 v4 evinrudes (going strong)

  10. #10

    Re: STOP Commercial netting in the Great Sandy Marine Park !

    Personally. TAC's on all species and restricted commercial license numbers allowed in the GSS, No roving licenses.. Plus strict species restrictions to ban the taking of low grade commercial but high grade rec species (Permit, Goldens etc).also be "nice" if there was some mechanism that at least a guaranteed % of the TAC had to be sold locally and spawning season closures where applicable (has certainly worked with barramundi). This would be about as close to a workable compromise as it would be possible to get IMO.

    kc

  11. #11

    Re: STOP Commercial netting in the Great Sandy Marine Park !

    Yep, I tend to agree, trying to just get something banned on emotional terms about Dugongs and other things being slaughtered will probably go nowhere, a far better option would be a total catch system, and a better regulated licence system, it would take a lot of tweaking over time, but once it's sorted out, it would be a far better option for everyone. The ban all nets brigade will just ruffle feathers, how exactly would a restaurant get their seafood? It's not an easy job to sort out, but it can be done, and without emotional outbursts that have self interest in mind. (In my opinion)

  12. #12

    Re: STOP Commercial netting in the Great Sandy Marine Park !

    The greenies love this sort of stuff - divide and conquer. To think that the increasing population of amateurs has had little effect on the fishing - not to mention the increase in exposure of "world class fisheries" courtesy of the fishing media and internet sites and the pressure that comes with it is naive at best. Blaming the net fisherman for the decline as a whole is IMO pretty poor. This doesn't mean for a minute I agree with wholesale slaughter but much like KC, I think a better approach is to try and find a workable solution of co existence.
    "I soak the worms in rum. The fish love em and the worms die happy"
    "Alcohol is not the solution to your problems...................but then again, neither is milk"

  13. #13

    Re: STOP Commercial netting in the Great Sandy Marine Park !

    Quote Originally Posted by Noelm View Post
    That will probably be the case, but Scott's ramblings are almost entirely about conserving stocks, well so he says, in reality it's just like everyone else, they hate pros, and want them gone, so "we" can have all our fish, it's a never ending argument that has raged for decades and decades, and it will probably never end.
    For the record - "I do not hate pros or commercial fishers " !

    Clarifying the situation – the Net Free Areas strategy was part of the State government’s Sustainable Fishing Policy released prior to the last State election. It is NOT a proposal, but a government policy.


    The stated intention is to “maximise the economic value that Queenslanders receive from sustainable management of their fisheries resources.”


    Without exception, studies of the economic value of inshore fish resources show that a kilogram of fish caught by a recreational angler is worth between 10 and 100 times the value of that same fish caught by a commercial fisher. Barramundi in particular has a huge multiplier effect and is on the fairly short list of iconic species recognized and valued internationally.

    Our GSMP is NOT a Net Free Area proposal as much as it is a Marine Park Zoning anomaly - the GSMP is THE ONLY marine park in the country that allows commercial netting in what "should be " True Yellow Conservation Zones ! The "Great Sandy Designated Area" Or "Red Cross Hatched over lay" over our Yellow Zones was created by political will - and it will now take political will to "correct it" ....

    Unfortunately truth and the facts have been largely absent in the public campaign being waged against the introduction of Net Free Areas & our Zoning anomaly in the GSMP. Like it or not, Queensland purchasers and consumers of fresh fish are choosing to buy product largely based on price position in the marketplace, not place of origin. Go into any supermarket and look in the seafood cabinet and you are unlikely to find any fresh fish for sale caught by the inshore commercial netting sector. But you will find ample supplies of farmed and imported fish for sale.


    ABS figures reveal that around 70% of seafood purchased by Australians is through major supermarket chains. Supermarkets only stock products with high sales records, so if there really was a strong demand for local fresh fish among consumers, they most certainly would be catering to it – but they aren’t, because that market segment is so small as to be of little consequence to the large retailers.


    So where are the fish that are being netted from our waters ending up?


    The overwhelming majority of the catch is immediately dispatched and sold into southern and some international markets, with a very small percentage ever sold in local fish shops and retail outlets. It’s a simple matter of economics – you always sell to the highest bidder and a buyer willing and able to take all your product. I’m sure we’d all do the same thing and this is not something that netters should be criticized for.


    The real local consumers of inshore fresh fish are the 40,000+ recreational anglers who live in Southern/Central Queensland. We like nothing better than coming home after a day’s fishing with a feed of fish for the family – whiting, flathead, Blue salmon, a barra and a Doggie mackerel !

    Regards Scotto
    So Many Fish - So little time !

    I Proudly support the following companies: Shimano, G.Loomis, The Haines Group, Scientific Anglers, Abel Reels, Lowrance

  14. #14

    Re: STOP Commercial netting in the Great Sandy Marine Park !

    Quote Originally Posted by kc View Post
    Scotty as you move down this path, PM me your personal email address. I can send you the submission made to the Government by The Fishing Party (Qld) in 2005. Many of the things we warned about, have happened, and it may provide some good background information for you. This document was submitted when Desley Boyle was the responsible minister and we did get a few wins in the final park management plan. The very issue of TAC's and commercial fishing restrictions were however ignored.

    kev
    PM sent :-)

    FYI - For 2016, nets accounted for 64 tonnes of barra from areas immediately adjacent to the CQ NFZ, and no less than 241 tonnes of fish overall. Put into historical perspective, the long term average barra catch from the Fitzroy River has been around 40 tonnes/annum for decades. It has only been since the climatic anomaly around 2010 that the catches from the river were way in excess of the average and that was never going to last anyway.

    So, where is the issue with the supply of Fresh "local " fish - ? There isn’t one!

    There is way more fish still being caught locally in nets than could ever be sold on the local market and most is still being sent directly to southern markets as always....

    This is more about "which sector" will provide the best return for the local communities or "Highest maximum economic yield " while also managing / protecting one of the most significant marine eco systems in our state ?.....

    Regards Scotto
    So Many Fish - So little time !

    I Proudly support the following companies: Shimano, G.Loomis, The Haines Group, Scientific Anglers, Abel Reels, Lowrance

  15. #15

    Re: STOP Commercial netting in the Great Sandy Marine Park !

    Hang on, we can't have it both ways, one minute it is slaughter and not sustainable, then you tell us the Barra fishery has been OK for decades, except for when it got better in 2010.

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