Tag Archives: Australia

Tracking system trials commence on entire commercial fishing fleet in Australia

Fisheries Queensland Executive Director Claire Andersen said units were being trialled on crab, net and line vessels in the Gulf of Carpentaria, South East Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef, both offshore and inshore. “The trials will cover all conditions and vessel types, from 15 metre boats to small tinnies without power,” Ms Andersen said. “Tracking the entire Queensland fishing fleet will allow us to improve compliance, validate logbooks and provide a valuable tool for fishery management. Ms Andersen said we were committed to working with industry to ensure that the rules are practical and achievable for smaller inshore boats. (yes. of course!) click here to read the story 17:56

Australia Seeks to Extend Commercial Fishing in Protected Waters

Australia plans to allow fishing across 80 percent of its protected maritime sanctuaries, the government said on Friday in a proposal that would vastly extend commercial activity in the world’s largest marine-reserves network. If the plan, backed by the government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, is approved by Parliament, it would be the first time a nation has scaled back its regulations in protected maritime areas. The move could potentially set a precedent for other countries, including the United States, which are considering similar reversals. (enviro’s are opposed) “This is a huge step backwards for marine protection,” said Richard Leck, head of oceans for WWF-Australia, an affiliate of the World Wildlife Fund. click here to read the story 09:00

Louisiana Shrimp Fishermen Face New Challenges – White Spot Disease

The experience is not universal within the nation’s eight shrimp-producing states, nor even within Louisiana. That’s why some shrimpers suspect that undiagnosed trouble may lurk within the local fishery itself. At the tail end of this year’s crawfish season, white spot disease was detected in Louisiana ponds. It’s not too far a jump, some in the industry, to suspect contamination with the virus as a cause for decline. “Is it the same strain that is in the Asian shrimp that gets imported here?” said Acy Cooper, president of the Louisiana Shrimp Association.,,, Jeffrey Marx, the chief shrimp biologist at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, is skeptical.,,, Fishermen want more research to be done, and some precautions to be taken, however. click here to read the story  for links about White Spot here and Australia click here 08:34

Rock lobster ‘resilience’ to climate change promising, but future not assured

The southern rock lobster is showing resistance to the effects of climate change, Tasmanian researchers have found, but warn that does not mean the species is immune to future environmental perils. The study, which reported on findings taken over a 25-year period, investigated the environmental aspects that influence the species’ settlement across a range of Australian locations, and found the fishery as a whole is showing broad resilience to changing ocean currents, water temperatures, swell and wind patterns. The research compared monthly records of the number of juvenile lobsters surviving in the open ocean and returning to shore. Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies’ (IMAS) Professor Caleb Gardner said there were a number of factors found to affect the juvenile lobster populations, but those that were significant in one area were often completely different to those in another. click here to read the story 10:19

Western rock lobster price falls due to a drop in China demand, cheaper American exports

The value of premium species of lobster sourced from Western Australia has plummeted, causing the lucrative industry to grind to a near halt. The western rock lobster ‘beach price’, which is the price professional fishers receive direct from processors, has slumped to about $50 a kilogram. Compared to six months ago, the price has shed about 30 per cent of its value. Mark Rutter is the general manager of marketing and business development at the Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative, which is the largest processor and exporter of rock lobsters in Australia. “It’s very hard to pinpoint exactly what’s driving the prices but certainly we are experiencing very low prices … in a recent historical sense,” he said. continue reading the story here 11:36

Australia: Fears grow as white spot detected in crab in Logan River

The devastating white spot disease threatening the Logan River prawn farming industry has now been detected in a crab. If retesting confirms the virus, it would be the first time the disease has transferred between species in Australia. Biosecurity Queensland tested the crab, which was found in a drainage channel near one of the infected prawn farms, this week and confirmed it initially tested positive for the virus that causes white spot. White spot, which can cause 100 per cent mortality within 10 days in farmed prawns, was first detected at a farm in Alberton, south of Brisbane, on November 22. The disease has spread to four other farms, forcing each farm to completely de-stock, a move ­estimated to cost the industry $25 million. Until the outbreak, Australia was considered free of white spot, which has spread throughout Asia and the Americas but does not pose a risk to humans. The detection in the crab was the first time the disease has appeared outside of a farm since six wild prawns were discovered with “low levels” of the disease on December 8. Read the story here 12:13

Importing seafood to Australia is like the governor of Alaska deciding to import ice – With Julian Tomlinson

Importing seafood to Australia must rank among the most jaw-droppingly gormless decisions ever made by someone claiming to have a fully functioning brain. It’s like the governor of Alaska deciding to import ice – but from a producer who uses water from a stagnant lake that is rapidly drying out. The south-east Queensland prawn farming industry is on the brink of disaster after white spot disease infected stock right before the lucrative Christmas period. Far Northern prawn farmers are rubbing their hands together and worrying at the same time. Loss of supply from the south-east should drive up demand for their product, but there are fears the disease was brought in from overseas imports and is spreading via birds. Australia has the world’s largest exclusive fishable area, waters of excellent quality, and among the most sustainable and high-quality seafood in the world. But the Aussie fishing industry has the lowest wild-harvest rate in the developed world and has been demonised and regulated so much that our supplies can’t meet domestic demand. Read the op-ed here  If you’ve got time, a report also available (click here to read  Australia’s Unappreciated and Maligned Fisheries. 09:40

New super long-lining catamaran being built for Abbott family at Narooma

The commercial fishing industry on the Far South Coast is about to get a big boost with a new 25-metre, state-of-the-art, long-lining catamaran being built for the Abbott family of Narooma. The three siblings, Ryan, Todd and Hayley, still only in their 20s, have invested heavily in the multi-million-dollar vessel because they believe in the sustainability of the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery and the demand for their top-quality fish continues to grow unabated. The new vessel, yet to be named, is currently taking shape in an Adelaide boat factory and is believed to be the first large commercial fishing vessel being built in Australia for the last 12 years. “With only 30 long-line vessels left in the entire fishery and the huge patch of water, the fishery is truly sustainable and much of it virtually untouched,” Read the story, and view 15 photos here 10:10

Close ports to Sea Shepherd or risk sharing guilt for its vigilantism

Sea Shepherd is again heading into dangerous territory. Last week’s announcement that its new $12 million custom-built Ocean Warrior (watch video here) has arrived here for a Southern Ocean incursion this summer is disturbing. Ship captain Adam Meyerson is boasting the group’s new vessel is a game changer because of its increased speed, long-range fuel tanks, helicopter landing pad and 20,000 litres-per-minute water cannon. Sea Shepherd is once more aiming to engage in close combat with the Japanese research fleet. That puts this group in the cate­gory of an environmental non-state combatant. It’s in an inter­national area engaged in the use of force, with actions close to vigilantism. It enjoys the reputation of piracy, but for quasi public rather than private ends. The International Court of Justice judgment in the whaling case two years ago was a hollow victory for environmental activists. The court didn’t rule that what the Japanese were doing was commercial whaling. Nor did it say that issuing permits to take whales by lethal means for scientific research was illegal. This left open the option of a new Japanese scientific whaling program. Read the rest here 08:56

Scientists warn Government against recommendations to wind back marine reserves – In particular ‘no-take’ zones

david-boothA group of scientists is urging the Government not to wind back the scale of the nation’s 40 marine reserves, contrary to the advice of an advisory panel on the matter. The panel is recommending the removal of an area almost twice the size of Tasmania from the protected zones where mining and fishing are banned. But the scientists, known as the Ocean Science Council, said cuts of that size could be devastating to marine life. Professor David Booth, a member of the council and a professor of marine ecology, said he and his colleagues had concerns over the advice given to the Government. “We welcome the review, there are a lot of good points to it, but what we’re really concerned with is these bioregional panels — which recommended the zoning of the parks in areas around Australia — fall well short of what was recommended,” he said. “In particular, the marine national park ‘no-take’ zones, which are the gold standard for looking after marine biodiversity, have been eroded.” Read the story here 12:47

Seafood Industry Australia – Industry finds its voice as campaign for a united peak body gains momentum

7942596-3x2-700x467A national campaign to form a united peak body for the seafood industry is gaining momentum. Voluntary contributions totalling $406,000 have been secured from the wild catch, aquaculture, post harvest and retail sectors to fund the next two years of forming Seafood Industry Australia. Chair of the implementation group, Veronica Papacosta, said with 52 days left in the campaign, she was confident of getting it across the line. “We’re very close to our minimum target, so I think we’re past the tipping point of whether this’ll happen — it will, which is really, really exciting,” Ms Papacosta said. “But now the pressure is on to make sure we get it right, to make sure we are a national body, to make sure we represent the whole of Australia.” Australia’s, at times, fractured fishing industry has long recognised it needed a clearer, united voice to speak to government and consumers. Read the story here 09:53

Australia: Calls for a long-term strategy to protect threatened marine species from commercial fishing

There are calls for the Federal Government to develop a long-term strategy to protect threatened marine species from commercial fishing. Every year thousands of protected species are killed as bycatch.  The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) publishes a quarterly report detailing how many protected species have been killed in Commonwealth waters. The Australian Marine Conservation Society’s Tooni Mahto said the numbers were unacceptable. (but they never are, eh Tooni?)  Meanwhile, In the Small Pelagic Fishery,,, Read the rest here 20:07

Fish Wars Australia – Tension flaring on commercial fishing and sustainability

TENSION between commercial and recreational fishing groups has again been in the spotlight with the release of a fishing population report. The commercial fishing industry says the report shows fish populations continue to be sustainable but the Fraser Coast Fishing Alliance says the report is “flawed” and was little more than a “desktop exercise”. The Federal Government, along with Queensland Agriculture and Fisheries Department, released data which assessed 36 nationally important species for 2014. Read the rest here 16:11

Pushed Out – Mornington fishing business Hutchins Brothers faces closure

GENERATIONS of Neville Hutchins’ family have been net fishing the waters off Mornington and Mt Martha since 1860.  But a $20 million State Government plan to phase out commercial netting in Port Phillip and Corio bays over the next eight years means he may be the last in that proud line. Mr Hutchins and his brother Dalton sell locally caught fish — including salmon, snapper and whiting — from their small shed on Fishermans Beach in Mornington. Read the rest here 11:45

Please send me to jail: Fisherman begs judge

A FISHERMAN has begged a Maroochydore District Court judge to jail him rather than impose a massive fine. Peter John Grennell could be fined up to $110,000 for the commercial fishing charge he faces. But he told the court he could not afford such a fine. The maximum penalty has been lifted from $6600 to $110,000.  Poor bastard Read the rest here 18:02

Sign this Marine Park Petition, and Support these Fishermen – WE FISH.

we fish logo cPEW along with some SA diving groups have been mounting a campaign to oppose these marine zone changes, yet shark feeding activities that have been shown not only to affect the behaviour of the sharks but also resulted in modifying the biodiversity of the area, is allowed to continue where fishing has been banned, Sign the petition here  website wefish.com 13:38

Crabber Dundee – Professional crabber Dale Collie has gone to extreme measures to send crab pot thieves scurrying.

He hired a chopper so he could search from the sky for his stolen pots, and has scattered numerous infra-red Scoutguard cameras among the trees and mangroves on Big Dawson Creek to catch the crooks. [email protected]  20:13

Shark Week? Shark Hunt!! Australia – Calls for shark cull after fatal Great White attack

Tourism operators in Western Australia yesterday demanded a shark cull, following the fourth fatal attack in seven months and amid warnings that the state’s beaches are now the most dangerous in the world for shark attacks [email protected] independent