Tag Archives: Fisheries Minister Joe Francis

West Australian Government accused of basing decision not to reopen commercial shark fishery on politics, not science

Fisheries Minister Joe FrancisFisheries Minister Joe Francis said the fishery would remain closed. “Reopening the metropolitan shark fishery is frequently touted as an indirect method of reducing white shark numbers and the risk of attacks. However, the evidence doesn’t support this,” he said in a statement. A spokeswoman for the fisheries department said Mr Francis’s comment was not based on a study by the department. The Western Australian Shark Fishing Association also believed politics was behind the Government’s decision. “It’s got nothing to do with the stock sustainability issue,” president Brian Scimone said. “It’d be a public thing, a political thing, a recreational thing.” Mr Scimone said shark numbers had built up due to a lack of fishing. “The public, the recreational fishing section, the Government, the fisheries associated with the Government, should start listening to the shark fishermen,” he said. “Bring our quotas back into consideration for use and let us do us our job in a sustainable fishery. Read the story here 08:21

WA Fisheries shark research lacks competency

greg-pickering-white-sharksGreg Pickering said any study of great white shark numbers needed to involve veteran spearfishing and fishing enthusiasts as well as abalone divers and commercial fishermen. “I’ve got to question their competency,” said Mr Pickering, a veteran of 34 years as an abalone diver and spearfisherman who survived 10 hours of surgery to his face and chest after he was bitten by a great white shark during a dive 180km east of Esperance in 2013. “People have stopped listening to Fisheries because they keep saying, ‘Our data doesn’t show any increase in numbers’. But maybe it’s the way they collect their data. “I’ve been attacked by a shark twice, spent half my life in the water, kept records of everything I’ve seen on every dive since 1983 but I’ve never had a call or an email. “There are a lot of guys with 30 or 40 years in the field with significant information to contribute. They’re in the water every day. You can’t pay for that sort of field work. But (Fisheries) feel they don’t need to talk to us because we don’t have a letter in front of our name saying, ‘Doctor so and so’.” Read the story here 18:42