Tag Archives: prawn trawlers

Prawn trawlers sit idle as fishermen turn to 457 visas for labour

It’s a boom season for the Carnarvon fishing fleet with colder water than usual in Western Australia’s protected Shark Bay spawning a bountiful king prawn and scallop catch. James Clement, marine biologist, former AFL footballer and head of the biggest trawler fleet ­licenced to fish Shark Bay, owned by ASX-listed company Mareterram, isn’t celebrating just yet. Despite the plentiful high-priced prawn harvest pouring into Mareterram’s Carnarvon wharf and packing sheds — the Shark Bay prawn season runs from late March to October — Mr Clement is having trouble keeping his 10 trawlers at sea for their 21-days-a-month continuous fishing time. A shortage of reliable labour and experienced fishing crew is hampering Mareterram’s total prawn catch, with issues including stress, inexperience, drugs and alcohol forcing some boats to return to port early mid-month to offload jittery crew before the scheduled full moon 10-day lay-off. click here to read the story 10:43

Williamtown toxic truth: Hunter River fishing bans lifted

The Hunter’s prawn trawlers went back to work this week for the first time since agreeing to an indefinite ban on working the Hunter River in November last year. The ban – dubbed a gentleman’s agreement – came as a result of contamination from the Williamtown RAAF Base. It followed state government bans on fishing in Fullerton Cove and the upper Tilligerry Creek, and was seen as necessary to protect the region’s seafood reputation. Then in October this year, to the surprise of a lot of fishers, the bans were lifted. The Department of Primary Industries issued a statement saying the public could “be confident that seafood for sale is safe to eat”, and the Newcastle Fishing Cooperative began accepting local produce again. “We were shocked,” Hewitt says on his trawler, named Junior. “We turned up to that meeting thinking, you know, they were going tell us whether or not they would buy our boats off us.  “Then the first thing the DPI guy said was ‘full opening of the river from this date’.  “Everyone just stayed quiet. It was unreal. Even all the crazy fishermen who I thought would abuse them just said nothing.” Nice photo gallery, Read the rest here 19:50