Tag Archives: Queensland

Queensland Government says it’s done enough for the domestic fishing fleet to weather the coronavirus storm

QSIA CEO Eric Perez described the state government’s response as a shameful position, saying commercial fishermen were only asking for a waiver for 12 months, not forever, and it would significantly assist a struggling industry. “The government knows what pressure we’re under,” he said. “Domestic markets have taken a massive hit that we didn’t see coming, because tourists aren’t going to restaurants to eat.” He said the industry wasn’t seeking a handout, rather relief from regulatory fees. “It appears the state government is hesitant to part with $5.1-$5.2 million to help an industry that generates over $350 million to the state economy.” >click to read< 10:07

Queensland: Crab pot pincher nipped with $5000 fine

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the man was caught after Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers began investigating reports of people interfering with commercial crab apparatus in March 2019. “This hard-working commercial crabber has had valuable infrastructure interfered with and lost valuable income from someone stealing his mud crabs,” he said. “People interfering with crab pots is one of the biggest complaints that we get from the public and the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol has been cracking down on it through additional patrols and the use of cameras and drones. Our state’s fisheries resources belong to all Queenslanders and it’s our job to protect fish stocks for the future.” >click to read< 10:19

Coronavirus devastates Bowen’s fishing industry, farmers face uncertain winter

The live coral trout trade, which underpins the fishing sector in the north Queensland town of Bowen, has been shut down since January with dozens of crews out of work and boats for sale. Ben Collison, a 22-year veteran of the Bowen line-fishing industry, said it was the worst he had ever seen the market. “Ninety per cent of the boats — as soon as China stopped, they stopped,” he said. “They all relied on the Chinese market.”,, Adding to the pain for Bowen’s fishermen, prices crashed from $60 per kilogram early in the year to just $17 last week, less than half the break-even price. Retailers suffer,Uncertainty for farmers, >click to read< 11:52

“They Go To Sea”: Local prawn fishermen highlighted in short film

A short film highlighting the life of Queensland’s hard working prawn fishermen has featured Grunske’s By The River owners and their passion for local seafood. Focusing on areas including Bundaberg and Hervey Bay to Townsville and the Gold Coast, the video titled “They Go To Sea” was posted recently by Australian Wild Prawns. Grunske’s By The River has been included in the short film with owner/skipper Paul Grunske stating the hard working fishermen and women he deals with every day was a big part of the success of his business. Video, >click to read< 09:23

Giant Bundaberg prawns bigger than a stubby

They can grow bigger than a stubby and are often mistaken for lobsters but these giant creatures are actually prawns and they’re being caught in waterways around Bundaberg. Photos of leader prawns have been circulating social media, with local fisherman comparing their biggest catches from the Burnett River and ocean surrounding the region. Leader prawns are from the banana or tiger prawn family, so named for their massive size and they role they play in a school of prawns. >click to read<  08:16

Queensland’s commercial fishing industry ‘torn apart’ by government’s green agenda

After 100 years of involvement in all aspects of commercial fisheries management and consultation, QSIA president Keith Harris said they were now being excluded and ignored in matters that affect every part of their lives. He blamed an extreme green and anti-fishing ideology that the government was unable to walk away from and called for the removal of WWF Australia and the Australian Marine Conservation Society from government working groups. His statements were rejected by Fisheries Minister Mark Furner,,, >click to read< 09:14

Queensland fisheries face tighter regulations? No, They face elimination, which contiues world wide.

New fishing regulations announced by the Queensland Government could seriously harm regional communities, limit the supply of fresh seafood and force long-term fishers out of the industry,,, But the commercial sector said the changes would cripple an industry already struggling under heavy regulation and increasing overhead costs. Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) senior vice president Allan Bobberman said the decision to cut 25 per cent of his allocation in the inshore net fishery was neither justified nor based on science. >click to read< 08:52

Come on Queensland, it’s your future.

Last week the Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) met for their Annual General Meeting in Tin Can Bay.,, It is an industry in turmoil following the recent recommendations proposed by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries that the Trawl Fishery be locked into five zones and only by leasing or buying from other operators, can you enter other zones to work.,,, Blindsided by The Hon. Mark Furner,,, While claiming to be effecting reforms proposed by MRAG they are picking the worst bits out and these changes are unprecedented in the history of the industry. >click to read< 16:22

Queensland coroner lashes Fisheries over missing alert after eight die, inquest condemn bureaucrats, urges inflatable vests for fishers

A coroner investigating the deaths of eight men after two trawlers capsized off Queensland has criticised authorities for failing to implement a safety feature to alert police when a boat vanishes. Coroner David O’Connell says the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries should immediately implement the vessel-monitoring-system feature designed to send an SMS or email to police if a boat or ship fails to “poll” on the system, which may indicate it has sunk. >click to read<  Findings from trawler Dianne sinking inquest condemn bureaucrats, urges inflatable vests for fishersVideo, >click to read< 15:34

An explosion of lucrative banana prawns – Flood disaster turns a profit downstream in the Gulf of Carpentaria

Raptis Pearl skipper Mick McGillivray, with one of his deckhands, celebrated the best start to the banana prawn season in the Gulf of Carpentaria since 1974. A two billion dollar damage bill to Queensland graziers, with an AgForce estimate of 664,000 head dead after February floods – the worst since 1974 – has been compensated to some degree by the best start to the banana prawn harvest in the southern end of the Gulf of Carpentaria for decades. Hardest hit areas, like Julia Creek and McKinlay Shire where 274,000 head were lost, drain into the Flinders River which has nourished an explosion of lucrative banana prawns in warm shallow waters just beyond its mouth. >photo’s, click to read<14:03

Overhaul trawler safety, coroner urged

A Queensland coroner is considering the words of the mother of a fisherman lost when a trawler capsized off Queensland who said the crew deserved to have been rescued, not recovered. Coroner David O’Connell has retired to consider his findings after a two week inquest into the deaths of eight men after two fishing vessel tragedies. This week he investigated in Gladstone the deaths of men when the FV Dianne rolled and sank off the Town of 1770 on October 16, 2017. >click to read<10:23

Kitchen freezer could have become a missile as stricken trawler sank

An unsecured kitchen freezer on board a Queensland trawler that sank with the loss of two men could have become a missile inside the stricken vessel as it rolled in rough seas before plummeting to the ocean floor, an inquest has heard. The bodies of skipper Matt Roberts, 61, and crewman David Chivers, 36, have never been found but investigators say it’s likely they were inside the wheelhouse of the FV Cassandra as it rolled in the early hours of April 4, 2016. >click to read>13:02

F/V Dianne Recovery: Specialist teams ready for investigation

THE MV Dianne has now been transferred to dry land. Crews worked for most of today to correctly balance the fishing trawler on to a travelift so it could be moved from the oceanfront of the Bundaberg Port Marina. It is now on land and in a secure location.  The Queensland Fire Service scientific team and urban rescue team will examine the safety of the vessel first thing tomorrow morning before investigations commence. Specialist teams, including a disaster victim identification team, are on standby as part of investigations surrounding the MV Dianne’s tragic sinking in October last year. >click to read< 10:32

Recovered: Sunken fishing trawler Dianne to be lifted on to land

A fishing trawler in which six men died last year will be lifted on to land four months after it sank off the Queensland coast. The FV Dianne was partially raised last Monday, and crews towed it to the Port of Bundaberg on Friday where it will be lifted on to land on Tuesday for further investigation into why it sank. Water will be pumped from the boat as authorities prepare to lift it out, with poor weather hindering several attempts to bring the wreckage to shore. >click to read<23:22

DIANNE RECOVERED: Bodies may be inside ill-fated trawler – >click to read<

Sunken trawler Dianne finally removed from the ocean floor

The fishing vessel Dianne has been partially raised from the sea floor. This afternoon the RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service was tasked to search for excess debris from the sunken vessel floating off the coast of Seventeen Seventy. The aerial search was requested after salvage crews managed to partly lift the trawler from her resting place 30m under the sea, where she has been lying since October 16, 2017. Following the partial raising of the Dianne on Monday, the vessel was towed underwater to shallower waters,,, >click to read< 13:17

Mosquito-control spraying questioned after Gulf barramundi fail to spawn for two years

A remote Queensland Gulf community is concerned their local council’s mosquito control program could destroy the local barramundi industry after the hatchery failed to produce spawn for almost two years.,, Local fisherman Mathew Donald is among those concerned about the impacts of mosquito spraying on the fishing and tourism industries across north Queensland.,, Carpentaria Shire Mayor Jack Bawden told the ABC there were two successful spawns around the time the spraying was stopped, which prompted council to further investigate the effects,,, >click to read< 18:51

‘My heart has been broken’: Sole survivor of trawler tragedy which left six fishermen dead breaks his silence

The sole survivor of the Queensland trawler tragedy which left six young fishermen dead has broken his silence in an emotional tribute to his late friends. Ruben McDornan, 32, was one of seven men aboard cucumber trawler Dianne when it capsized in treacherous seas off the town of Seventeen Seventy last month.  The bodies of Adam Hoffman and Ben Leahy were found in the sunken boat five days after the desperate search began. Four men, Adam Bidner, Chris Sammut, Eli Tonks and Zach Feeney, have not been found. click here to read the story 10:58

The Agnes Water/1770 Community Fundraiser for the “Families & Children of FV Dianne”

The Agnes Water/1770 Community has set this fund up on behalf of the families of Cairns based fishermen Adam Bidner, Zachary Feeney, Adam Hoffman, Ben Leahy, Chris Sammut, Eli Tonks and Ruben McDornan  off the fishing vessel “FV Dianne” which tragically sunk during wild storms off the Central Coast of Queensland  last week. Seven families have been affected by this tragedy. Six husbands fathers and sons have been lost in the most tragic of circumstances, with only one survivor who was rescued in tretcherous seas after fighting for his life in the wildest conditions imaginable. The purpose of this fund is to help ease the financial burden that these families have now incurred through this tragedy. click here to donate 11:00

F/V Dianne – Four fishermen still missing after second day of police searches

Police divers have been unable to find any of the four missing crew members after a second day scouring sunken fishing trawler Dianne off the central Queensland coast. Gladstone Patrol Inspector Darren Somerville said divers cleared the vessel and its immediate surroundings of debris but could not find any find any sign of the four fishermen. “Obviously the timeframe for survival expired some time ago, and that timeframe was whether they were in the vessel or even if they were in the water,” he said. click here to read the story 12:03

Sunken fishing trawler Dianne found by searchers off Queensland coast

Police say they have found the commercial fishing trawler Dianne in which six men are believed to have drowned when it sank in heavy seas on Monday night. The sea cucumber fishing boat was detected by sonar about two to three nautical miles off Round Hill Headland, near Seventeen Seventy. Police confirmed the discovery in a statement released just after 6:00pm today. Water Police will remain at the scene overnight and a full recovery operation will commence tomorrow morning. Twelve boats were involved in today’s operation, along with a helicopter and several vehicles that patrolled the shoreline. At least one of the boats was fitted with side scan sonar, using soundwaves to detect any possible man-made items under the water.  click here to read the story 08:36

Reunion for trawler survivor as search moves from rescue to recovery

Ruben McDornan, so far the only survivor from a sunken trawler with seven on board, has had an emotional reunion with his wife and mother at Gladstone Airport, after being plucked from the rough seas by a passing yacht on Tuesday morning. Police have conceded it would be “a miracle” to find any of the other six missing fishermen alive, with the search and rescue moving towards a “recovery” operation on Thursday. “Our thoughts are with the boys missing at the moment because they’re all like family,” Ms McDornan said through tears. click here to read the story 08:54

Families of missing six cling to hope as wild weather hampers search

Hope is fading of finding six men alive after their trawler capsized, with police saying the likelihood of finding them alive is “not looking real promising”. On Wednesday afternoon, police released the identities of all six men who were on board the trawler, named Dianne, adding 34-year-old Chris Sammut and 28-year-old Zach Feeney to the list of known missing men. Skipper Ben Leahy (45) and Cairns men Adam Bidner (33), Adam Hoffman (30) and Eli Tonks (39) had already been named as being on board. The trawler capsized off the central Queensland coast near Middle Island, about 7.30pm Monday.The trawler had been fishing for sea cucumber when it got into trouble off the town of 1770 and sank about five hours later. click here to read the story 08:54

Six fishermen feared dead off trawler screamed from inside boat as crewmate clung to hull

SIX fishermen now feared dead were screaming from ­inside their sinking boat while a crewmate clung to the hull after it capsized off the central Queensland coast. Ruben McDornan survived for 12 hours in heavy seas and before he was plucked to safety after a yacht found him by sheer luck early yesterday. Their boat Dianne overturned near Middle Island, about 20km northeast of the Town of 1770, at 7.30pm on Monday before it sank about midnight. click here to read the story 08:24

Police to resume search for crew of sunken trawlerclick here to read the story 17:31

Why did a trawler run aground on Lady Musgrave Island?

Marine authorities are investigating what caused a 50m fishing trawler to run aground on Lady Musgrave Island on Friday. Two men and a dog were forced to spend the night on board the stricken ship after an initial attempt to free themselves failed when their anchor line and boom broke. Mana is a Bundaberg-based fishing trawler. They were retrieved by crew from a passing boat on Saturday. The vessel remains grounded in the intertidal zone on the south side of the island, between the low and high water marks. click here to read the story 12:39

White Spot: Government has abandoned wild-caught prawn fishermen

THE $20 million in federal funding for prawn farmers affected by white spot is a great day for some and not so great for others if you are a commercial fishing business owner in the Moreton Bay region. There are some 300 micro and small fishing related businesses across the Moreton Bay region, including trawl and crab fishers, impacted by white spot that continue to be impacted in the wild and an ongoing movement control order on our commercial product. These businesses generate almost $20.5 million yet have received no assistance. At least 20 businesses have had their incomes severely impacted since December 2016 and still no help. The Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce announced the Federal Government will give $20 million to prawn farmers impacted by white spot but said wild-catch fishermen are the responsibility of the State Government. click here to read the story 18:17

Poor season drives a black market for crabs in Qld

Poor weather over summer has resulted in a lucrative black market for the sale of mud crabs in Queensland. Recreational fishermen have been caught taking to websites such as Facebook, eBay and Gumtree to illegally sell mud crabs for up to $50 to try to reap the benefits of a poor crabbing season. It comes as the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol was preparing for a busy long weekend as thousands of people were taking to the water over the Easter break. Fishers and crabbers have also been found resorting to illegal activities such as keeping undersized and female mud crabs after a dry summer saw fewer mud crabs being caught in Queensland’s waterways. Earlier this year, a man was fined $3100 after pleading guilty to five crab-related offences, click here to continue reading 13:24

Fishing industry rattled as white spot disease breaks barriers

It was the outbreak they were expecting, but hoping would never come to pass. Concern and uncertainty seem to the prevailing moods amongst the Queensland commercial fishing industry, reeling from this week’s news that white spot disease had broken it’s containment in the Logan River and been detected in Moreton Bay. There’s also considerable frustration amongst members of the Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA), many of whom predicted the outbreak was a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’. “It definitely hasn’t been a good week for us,” says QSIA’s CEO Eric Perez. “There’s certainly a lot of concern about the impact this will have on the industry here, as well as the knock-on effects this will have on the wider community.” There appears to be no immediate threat to fisheries in the Gympie and Cooloola Cove regions, but tests are ongoing just to determine how far the disease has spread. continue reading the story here 11:16

Fears for prawn industry grow after white spot found in Moreton Bay

The ban on movement of uncooked prawns and crustaceans outside a new control zone could lead to cheaper seafood for south-east Queenslanders. Uncooked products will not be allowed to leave the area, which includes Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Moreton Bay, but they can be sold within the area. The movement order, effective immediately, includes crabs, prawns, yabbies, Moreton Bay bugs and marine worms. It comes after positive test results on several properties in the Logan River. Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne briefed prawn farmers, commercial fishers and others in the industry on Thursday morning, but some trawlers are still at sea and will need to be spoken to when they return. The prawns were caught within the past week at the Redcliffe Peninsula and Deception Bay, with 31 testing positive. continue reading the story here 21:52

White spot threat: is fishing finished in Queensland?

The Logan River white spot epidemic could destroy all mainland fishing in Queensland, including a big slice of the Cooloola Coast seafood and tourism economy, industry leader Kev Reibel has warned. A Queensland Seafood Industry Association board member and Tin Can Bay trawler operator, Mr Reibel said the threat was credible and immediate. “To say we are worried would be something of an understatement,” he said in an exclusive interview with The Gympie Times on Sunday. “We don’t know if it can be stopped and we don’t know its boundaries within the crustaceans, or even if it has any boundaries. If it affects crabs, that’s another industry and another tourism factor wiped out. He backed claims by industry environmental adviser and Bay net fishing operator Joe McLeod that the apparently unstoppable virus is a threat to the food chains which sustain all kinds of fin fishing. Mr McLeod said the plankton that kicked off the fin fish food chain included juvenile prawns and other crustaceans. “If they’re not there, there is nothing for the fish to eat,” Mr McLeod said yesterday. Both said there was a fearful lack of knowledge of the virus’ boundaries, especially with the crustacean group.  Continue reading the story here 09:32

Indefinite ban on prawn imports after outbreak of white spot disease in Queensland

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has this morning bowed to pressure from prawn farmers and indefinitely banned importation of the frozen crustacean, following an outbreak of the devastating white spot disease in Queensland. Farmers have been lobbying for the suspension of Asian prawn imports following the discovery of the disease in five separate locations of the Logan River, south of Brisbane, last month. Mr Joyce said he was concerned the prawns infected prawns could make it into the waterways, further spreading the disease in Australian prawn farms. The biosecurity minister urged people who have bought raw green prawns not to put them in water ways, like using them as bait for fishing, with fears it could contaminate local prawns. Mr Joyce said a white spot disease outbreak could devastate Australia’s $360 million prawn industry.  Read the story here 09:44