Tag Archives: Australia

Something Fishy: A study in believe it or not

Researching my books I do come across some very interesting characters, none more so than former Maitland resident Athel D’Ombrain AM. Athel’s resume includes photographer, optician, naturalist, author, cricketer, pioneer angler, game fisherman and historian. Born in 1901 Athel’s contribution to society and inventiveness were significant. His fishing involvement was of most interest to me. One of Athel’s revolutionary plans was reported in the NSW Game Fishing Bulletin 1947. >click to read< 09:49

Individual transferable quota system hurting Tasmania’s fishing fleets

“ITQs have caused a decrease in owner operators and a decrease in active vessels in the fleet,, “Separation of ITQ ownership from the fishing sector has created a whole range of unintended consequences, which have ultimately seen the flow of majority of profits to investors, not the fishing fleet.” King Island Council deputy general manager Kate Mauric told the committee some fishermen felt disadvantaged due to contract management from investors, though this was not as pronounced on the island as elsewhere. >click to read< 10:54

Commercial fishers fined for potentially disturbing migrating whales in Scarborough

Two commercial fishers who potentially disturbed migrating whales off Scarborough with their unsecured lines were the first to be prosecuted under new lobster regulations. The fishers, a 72-year-old from Beaconsfield and a 44-year-old from Bateman, pleaded guilty and were each ordered to pay $7453.90 in fines and court costs at Perth Magistrate’s Court on June 9. According to the amended Management Plan for Commercial rock lobster fishing introduced in 2014, the top third of the length of the pot lines must be held vertically in the water. The officers seized nine lobster pots as a part of the lines of each pot were trailing across the surface of the water. >click to read< 10:25

Victoria takes on Tassie in the scallop pie stakes with Victorian scallops

“These are our best pies yet!” announces Apollo Bay Bakery owner Sally Cannon,,, While famous for its curried and mornay variety scallop pies, it was not until last week that Apollo Bay Bakery could use Victorian scallops. Cannon has previously relied on Chinese-grown scallops and Tasmanian,,, However, the discovery of a massive new scallop bed off the shores of Lakes Entrance in East Gippsland will lead to a fresh wave of Victorian scallops,,, A huge swath of seabed is estimated to hold nearly 8000 tonnes of scallops within 20 nautical miles of the coast. Lakes Entrance fisher Andy Watts expressed the town’s excitement. “The fleet is ready to rock and roll and head out fishing early next week,”  >click to read< 20:11

Australian lobsters back on the Chinese menu as ‘grey trade’ fires up again

Australian lobster fishermen shut out of mainland China appear to be selling millions of dollars’ worth of crayfish to the once-booming market via unofficial “grey channels”, trade experts say. Commercial fishers across the country were left reeling in November when China appeared to impose an unofficial ban on Australian lobster exports that had been worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The suspension effectively stopped the trade with China, which had been buying more than 90 per cent of lobsters exported from Australia. >click to read< 11:48

As in culling seals for conserving fish, U.S. activists try to halt an Australian way of life: Killing Kangaroos

“See, that’s a doe,” he said. “I don’t especially want to shoot a doe.” A doe usually has a joey in her pouch. He and others who hunt kangaroos bear this in mind, Mr. White said, despite claims to the contrary by American activists who are trying to shut down their livelihood, calling it inhumane. These critics, he said, just don’t understand how life actually works here in the middle of Australia. Kangaroos have been hunted on the continent for thousands of years, “and there are still more of them than people,” Mr. White said. Most important, said Mr. White, 58, a third-generation full-time shooter who goes by “Whitey,” kangaroos produce healthy meat, strong leather and the jobs that keep small towns whole. >click to read< 09:51

Something Smells Fishy: Allegations of Fraud in Ocean Acidification Research

While on tour in Australia in 2010, my friend, David Archibald said to me “Ocean Acidification is the last refuge of the climate scoundrels”. It appears he may be right. It also appears that James Cook University has a real research integrity problem, that Dr. Peter Ridd has pointed out, and got fired for daring to say it. From Science Magazine: Does ocean acidification alter fish behavior? Fraud allegations create a sea of doubt – In 2009, Munday and Dixson began to publish evidence that ocean acidification, a knock-on effect of the rising carbon dioxide level in Earth’s atmosphere, has a range of striking effects on fish behavior, such as making them bolder and steering them toward chemicals produced by their predators. But their work has come under attack. A group of seven young scientists, led by fish physiologist Timothy Clark of Deakin University, published a Nature paper reporting that in a massive, 3-year study, they didn’t see these dramatic effects of acidification on fish behavior at all. >click to read< 18:37

Shorefire fisherman Mark Rochfort feeds Christmas Island with a rod and a reel

For the past 25 years, commercial fisherman Mark Rochfort has navigated open sea off Flying Fish Cove. His company Shorefire has operated since 1994,,, Rochfort, who is nearly 60, says he still reels in fish weighing up to 200 kilograms. “I get out there in my open centre console with just a rod and reel. “People always ask me, ‘How do you do it?’ “But it’s alright — there are worse ways to make a living.” Old men and the sea – Mr Rochfort’s 83-year-old father helps him put the boat in the water every morning at 5.30am., photos, >click to read< 12:51

The last cowboys – a replay of the story of cattle in the American West

Norway, a country less than a quarter the size of Alaska, is on pace to bring 1.2 million tonnes of salmon to market this year, and the technologists in that country are talking about the potential to grow their production to 3 million tonnes per year by 2030. Chile, Scotland, the Faroe Islands, and Canada are all significant producers with lesser production in Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, France, Ireland and Finland. Meanwhile, land-based, recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) farms are threatening to lead to an explosion in salmon aquaculture almost everywhere. To truly understand the threat these farmers pose to the future of one of Alaska’s oldest and still largest industries,,, >click to read< 08:52

A “heavy mental impact” – Tasmania’s rock lobster industry suffers in trade war

Beijing cancelled the China Australia strategic economic dialogue this week, effectively ending trade relations between the two countries. For Tasmania’s rock lobster fishers this trade war is real and destroying their livelihoods and businesses in less than 12 months. Lobster fisher Kane Ebel said there was a “heavy mental impact” to the trade war. “When you get out of bed in the morning and you’ve got big debts on your boat and your house and effectively can’t go to work, it’s got to take a toll,” he told Sky News. >click to watch< 18:48

Australia: From feeding a President to a food van – This is the reality of China’s trade war

From the barley fields of Western Australia, to the lobster trawlers of Hobart,,, In a shock move, Chinese authorities claimed a sample of a rock lobster contained excessive levels of the heavy metal cadmium. Trade was effectively shut down,,, Australian government agencies has found no evidence of contamination in southern rock lobster. Without China, prices have collapsed. There are about 150 boats in the Tasmanian lobster fleet, Mr Blake fears a third will have to exit the industry,,, only last night, I had a fisherman on the phone crying to me, wondering how he’s going to pay his bills, and this is only the start.” Lobster is just one of a raft of industries hit by China’s trade sanctions, including beef, wine and barley. lots of photos, >click to read< 19:31

New Scallop Beds Discovered! Scallop Boom On Way For Victoria.

The Andrews Labor Government is delivering a boost to Gippsland’s scallop industry, lifting the allowable commercial catch for the ocean scallop fishery by more than seven times after new scallop beds were discovered off the east coast. A survey conducted near the Tarwhine oil and gas fields off Gippsland confirmed a return of harvestable scallop beds in the area, and subsequent consultation with industry bodies and licence holders has resulted in a substantial increase to the total allowable commercial catch (TACC), from 135 to 979 tonnes. >click to read< 13:55

SAFETY: A gradual culture change has been taking place across much of the fishing industry

As one of the world’s leading insurers of fishing vessels, Sunderland Marine keeps a close eye on the fishing industry’s evolution and has encouraged increasing safety awareness. Sunderland Marine has taken the initiative where it has seen that improvements can be made,,, This is not just in the UK, but also through initiatives in Australia and New Zealand, both of which have also seen a safety culture developing in the right direction In the US, Sunderland Marine has also been instrumental in making available independent safety drills for crews working on East Coast draggers and scallopers. In addition, the offshore crab fishery that’s familiar to anyone who has seen the Deadliest Catch on TV has seen positive changes. photos, >click to read< 17:32

Seabed mining ban – a win for marine life, fishing and culture

The Northern Territory Government first declared a three-year temporary ban on seabed mining in March 2012 and has since extended it twice under both the Country Liberal Party (CLP) and Labor Governments. With the temporary ban due to expire in March, Territorians have made it clear that they want a permanent ban. It’s great to see today the Government listen and act on this important issue. “The Top End has some of the last healthy tropical coasts in the world. Seabed mining is like bulldozing the seafloor. It would decimate our marine life, pollute our waters, threaten our fishing and destroy places of cultural significance.” >click to read< 12:37

New Zealand crayfish in hot demand in China, selling for $100, as China-Australia relations sour

Though this time of year is usually quiet a shift in global politics has made for a busier November and December than expected. A diplomatic stoush saw China refuse various Australian exports, including live crayfish, also known as kōura or rock lobster. Suddenly Chinese buyers are paying a lot more to get hold of New Zealand crays. The extra cash has been a welcome boost, after the industry’s $38m loss during lockdown. >click to read< 16:43

Western rock lobster head to supermarkets across Australia amid China trade woes

It is a deal that would have been unimaginable last Christmas, when Chinese customers were snapping up western rock lobster at jaw-dropping prices and locals in the port city of Geraldton, where they were caught, often missed out. But the fishers’ co-operative has now signed a contract with a supermarket giant to put the prized shellfish on retail shelves across Australia at the relative bargain price of $20 each for a cooked lobster. The coronavirus pandemic and worsening trade crisis with China has seen rock lobster fishers focus on the market closer to home. Video, >click to read< 11:05

Australia: Cheap lobsters on Christmas tables as prices plummet due to China import ban

Commercial fishers operating in Victoria, Tasmania, and South Australia are supplying record volumes to the domestic market after China’s ban on Australian live lobster imports. With the crustaceans removed from restaurants and markets in China, (you know the drill),,,Tasmanian commercial fisher Jason Hart this week sold his catch directly to the public at the Strahan wharf. “I’ve never had to worry about selling them from the wharf before,” Mr Hart said. “Even when our markets have been bad you can still on-sell the fish. But I’ve never seen it like this,,, >click to read< 13:48

Float-free EPIRB deadline approaches for Australian commercial vessels

Commercial vessel owners and operators are being urged to act now to ensure their vessels are fitted with float-free Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) before the New Year deadline. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) legislated changes requiring certain commercial vessels to carry float-free EPIRBs from 1 January 2021 following the deaths of 14 commercial fishers and divers between 2015 and 2017. >click to read< 14:49

Western Australia’s Crystal crabs immune to impact of coronavirus, selling for more than $300

The crabs are found in a thin trench of water, 80 kilometres off the Western Australia coast, at depths of 800 metres. West Coast Deep Sea Fishery takes to the pristine deep waters all year round in search of the product. Managing director Glen Bosman said he believed he had the best crystal crabs in the world. “Not arguably, it’s fact. We receive the highest price for that species of crab,” he said. The crystal crab is pale white in colour, with distinctly shorter walking legs, and can weigh more than two kilograms. “The crab sits in the middle of the table, is broken up, and then shared by a number or people because of its size. >click to read< 09:55

REPORT: Shocking results from seismic research

According to the report, which French seismic company CGG participated in, whiting catches fell by 95% and flathead 75% from January to July compared with the prior six months. While the report is preliminary, and just the first of a four-stage study into seismic acquisition and the effect it has on marine life, it paints a concerning picture for the offshore oil and gas sector as it backs up speculation by fishing companies that seismic acquisition can damage marine habitats.,, The environmental impact of seismic surveys on the marine environment is a hotly contested one, with the oil and gas industry noting it was key to securing exploration, and the fishing industry concerned it is losing catches immediately after surveys are conducted.  >click to read< 09:24

Tuna partnership to drive youth employment

Port Lincoln tuna baron Hagen Stehr and Port Adelaide Football Club Aboriginal programs director Paul Vandenbergh are joining forces to drive jobs for indigenous youth in the seafood industry. The pair, along with Far West Coast Native Title Group director April Lawrie have formed a new company, Wanna Mar Stehr and aim to launch their first branded tuna products in the new year. Vandenbergh is also in the process of finalising 60 training places for indigenous youth at the Port Adelaide-based Australian Maritime & Fishing Academy, which Stehr founded in the 1990s. “The opportunity for those guys will be endless because they don’t have to work for us and they don’t even have to stay in South Australia or even Australia because it’s an international certification. >click to read< 08:59

1967: Two fishermen feared dead for almost a week were the toast of Portarlington last night.

In their broken down shark boat Veronica, they had won out after a grim, six-day battle against raging Bass Strait seas. Late on Saturday night, after a desperate last signal for help had been sighted by Cape Otway Lighthouse, the 32-ft. Veronica was taken in tow by another fishing boat. Yesterday morning the two crewmen, skipper Len Joseph, 32, and his mate Ron Oldfield, 34, stepped ashore at Apollo Bay, “back from the dead.”  The engine had failed only two hours after sailing from Port McDonnell. Last Monday the men ran out of food. Len Joseph kept a log book which spells out the drama of the ordeal. >click to read< 08:49

Cancel Culture: Michael Shellenberger Censored For Exposing Climate Industrial Complex

The media’s obsession with cataclysmic climate change is matched only by their fixation on unreliable wind and solar power as the only solution. But even among their own ilk, the “only more subsidies for wind turbines and solar panels will save us” narrative has worn thin, of late. Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans lifted the lid on the cynical and manipulative crony capitalists profiteering from the climate industrial complex that they helped to create.,, Michael Shellenberger, once worshipped by America’s green-left, has found himself in the same territory. Shellenberger, obviously no fool, was alive to the tactics employed by the mainstream press to marginalise, de-platform and ultimately cancel anyone deemed to be ‘problematic’, whether for spouting inconvenient truths or simply failing to support the party line. >click to read< 09:36

Victoria fishermen say catch has dropped by 80 per cent since the start of seismic testing

Tyson Pollard and his father Tony have been octopus fishing for three years and their catch is sent from Lakes Entrance to Melbourne and Sydney. But in recent months, the pair’s haul has plummeted. Mr Pollard said he noticed a change when two large ships started surveying for oil and gas in his usual fishing area. “New Year’s Eve, the bushfires in our region meant we had to evacuate; New Year’s Day, the seismic ship activity started,” he said. Several fishermen in the area have been compensated for their losses due to the testing, but the concerns of the industry go beyond money. >click to read< 10:13

Coronavirus: 50-day mission to retrieve Kiwi fishermen underway

Sanford deep water fleet manager Darryn Shaw said the trip to the South Georgia Islands had been made necessary due to the impacts of Covid-19, which had made it difficult to get people out of the Falkland Islands, with just one flight a week going to the United Kingdom. “Normally we would bring our people back by air, via South America, but that is not possible at this time with borders closed into that region. We did look at bringing them home via the UK, but that was going to put them at risk of actually being exposed to Covid-19 as they would have to fly into the UK and move about between airports.” Many of the crew, who are fishing for toothfish, had already been at sea for 130 days – missing the entire Covid-19 lockdown – and were eager to get home to their families, Shaw said. >click to read< 12:02

Coronavirus: Emergency ‘lobster flights’ to save $800 million worth of seafood

Hundreds of tonnes of lobster and abalone will be flown on emergency freight flights out of Australia in a $110 million push to stop a massive downturn across the seafood sector. The government will fund 200 40-tonne flights of Australian produce to China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates as stock goes to waste and staff are laid off. In Western Australia alone up to 98 per cent of its lobster produce usually heads to China. Fishers have pulled up their pots as they cannot get the product into centres such as Shanghai. >click to read< 08:33

Coronavirus: Global lockdown to hit China’s supplies of steak, lobster, wines

Just over a month ago, supply chains in China were thrown into chaos as trucks and planes delivering goods to the world came to a standstill. Now, China’s economy is moving back towards capacity, while the supply shock from the coronavirus pandemic is beginning to affect many Western countries, as they look to contain the virus’ spread. But this second round of supply shock enveloping countries around the world may mean China’s growing middle classes find themselves strapped for premium overseas food such as meat and dairy products,,, Video, >click to read< 11:26

Coronavirus: The day our world changed

Coronavirus has changed everything. We just haven’t noticed it yet. But those changes will become more apparent by the day. Where COVID19 is taking us is uncertain. It appears contained in China. South Korea seems to be on top of its rate of spread. But Italy, the US and Europe may soon be overwhelmed by the contagion. But Flinders University change ecologist Professor Corey Bradshaw says that, ultimately, its impact will not be counted in human fatalities. Nor in the cost of treating the sick. It will be in our minds. It’s in our economic system. >click to read< 07:45

Australia: Senate inquiry on impacts of seismic testing starts in Hobart

An inquiry into the impact of seismic testing in Australian waters has heard there is little scientific research into the effects it has on marine life and commercial fisheries. A Senate committee conducting the inquiry held its first hearing on Hobart on Wednesday. The state’s fishing industry has claimed that 24,000 tonnes of scallops, with a retail value of more than $70 million, were killed in 2010 after seismic testing was conducted in the Bass Strait. John Hammond, from the Scallop Fishermen’s Association of Tasmania, said an area north-west of Flinders Island used to provide an enormous bounty of scallops for fishers, but had been barren since 2010. >click to read< 22:49

21 Oct 2016, Scallop deaths linked to seismic surveys being carried out on seabed, Tasmanian report finds>click to read<

Commercial fishermen fear seismic blasting in the Otway Basin will impact business and marine life

It’s understood Schlumberger Australia Pty Ltd have commenced a 100-day operation in a bid to find potential recoverable hydrocarbon – natural gas, oil and coal – in a 93,000 square kilometre area of the basin including off the entire south-west coast. It comes after the coronavirus outbreak halted crayfish exports across the country. Port Campbell cray fisherman Wayne Hanegraaf has thanked his lucky stars that he decided to sit this season out. >click to read<  06:30