Crayfish season now all year round in Western Australia

 https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/western-australia/crayfish-season-now-all-year-round-in-western-australia-20180530-p4zibi.html

 

 And a quote of the article

 

"Fisheries minister Dave Kelly said WA's sustainable fisheries management ensured there was enough fish for everyone, hoping the extension would open the door to winter rock lobster fishing at key holiday destinations, such as Rottnest Island, the Abrolhos Islands and the Cape to Cape region in WA’s Southwest.

“This decision is expected to stimulate winter tourism along our stunning coastline, to the
benefit of businesses in our coastal communities, Mr Kelly said.

“The season extension is testament to WA’s successful integrated fisheries management
strategies, which ensure we have fish for the future and that our marine environment is
ecologically sustainable."

Recfishers on both the south and west coasts will now have the same night fishing curfew, be restricted to two floats and required to ensure the top half of their pot ropes are held vertically in the water column, when using more than 20 metres of rope. These new rules will apply all year-round.

This arrangement gets ropes off the surface and complements the whale interaction mitigation measures already in place for the commercial sector."

 

 

 

 

The last bit about rope managment is nice to hear, not sure how many people will be dropping pots for crays in the middle of winter with the swell around, but hey it does give people the option.

 


still trying's picture

Posts: 132

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 If it does come in i would

Wed, 2018-05-30 10:11

 If it does come in i would probably put a pot or two in, i don't think it would change tourism at all really maybe divers going to rotto by ferry but how much really? 

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Faulkner Family's picture

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 Could be good news. But

Wed, 2018-05-30 10:20

 Could be good news. But there will be pot tefts all year round . Not to mentio  boaties having to dodge pots early hours in the dark during the time we normally dont need to worry . But t he pros of it . Fesh cray all year round for those that go after them 

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hezzy's picture

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here is the ministers media

Wed, 2018-05-30 10:24

here is the ministers media release to confirm it is correct , places north like jurien, dongara, kalbarri etc will benefit and it might take the heat/goldrush out of the whites in nov dec if people have more choice of when they want to fish , winter snapper fishing would now let blokes soak apot or two for longer or in short burst if they wish
hezzy

https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2018/05/Western-Australian-recfishers-can-now-catch-lobsters-all-year-round.aspx

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Rob H's picture

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 My personal belief is that

Wed, 2018-05-30 11:07

 My personal belief is that the actual catch will increase by very little, as there will be less need to freeze shitloads-the "goldrush" factor Hezzy mentions...
A shorter term licence, say half price for a month would allow the government to assess how many tourists do use it.

Certainly for me, who mostly gets crays at the islands, I will have pots in a few more times a year and there will be divers from interstate/overseas who will want to get crays.

The crays I catch are at least 50% given away (Im guessing many others are the same) so the effect is wider than could be easily quantified.

Its a great outcome and Im chuffed it has been achieved!
Dave Kelly Fisheries Minister has certainly given us at least a couple of practical and useful changes (tail freezing, season) and I commend him on that wholeheartedly

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ranmar850's picture

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Notice the bit about "hanging the ropes vertical?"

Wed, 2018-05-30 11:16

 If using more than 20 metres of rope. Won't affect those who only fish 5 fathoms or so, but you'll need to have more than that if you are fishing in winter, or keep a very close eye on swell predictions. Some will do doubt just hang sinkers or chunks of old iron off them to get the desired effect, but this is a massive PITA if using a winch. Group buy on a coil of lead-cored rope?

Dale's picture

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Wed, 2018-05-30 11:35

 I don’t think it impact much, joe average has usually got his pots out by March or April, we use to be able to cray all year round when I was a kid, so if the numbers drop, they could always put the ban back in.

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so is this extension in place

Wed, 2018-05-30 11:44

so is this extension in place or a proposition?
I never thought about the weight halfway down to keep the rope straight...that's a great idea since I pull mine by hand anyway.... will definitely do this next time I put them out.

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Wed, 2018-05-30 11:57

 It will happen

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scottnofish's picture

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Dont like the weighted rope idea

Wed, 2018-05-30 11:49

 Have had floats run over before and would have lost the pots if it wasnt for the rope still floating at the top 

Belly Fish's picture

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Weighted ropes

Wed, 2018-05-30 12:10

I have been running a lead wrap 5m down my ropes for 20 years. Yes, you will lose the pot if the rope is cut, but you very much reduce the chance of that happening and I have never lost a pot (touch wood!!)

ranmar850's picture

Posts: 2017

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Belly's right

Wed, 2018-05-30 12:44

 You've got a lot less chance of having them run over if only the floats are up. It's the floating rope that is usually hit and cut. Floats are usually easy to see, but not always the rope. And yes, i'll probably spread my effort out more over the year, won't be looking for 200-300 in the Whites, just get enough to carry me through to March when they fire up again.

Of course, now I am heading into semi-retirement, I'll have more time to do it.

little johnny's picture

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Been useing running

Mon, 2018-06-04 09:33

Leads below float for years . Never lost one. If by chance your float does get cut . As rope sinks leads slide off and your rope floats.

Rob H's picture

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.

Mon, 2018-06-04 13:05

 Thats not a bad idea at all Johnny, probably need a tag a few meters down to stop the weight sliding all the way down?

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The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

Everyone's just winging it.

 

little johnny's picture

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5 m

Mon, 2018-06-04 14:45

Down I put a stopper. Can have heaps longer ropes. Less chance of pots moving . Better catch rates

ChrisG's picture

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 bugger that! Getting up at

Wed, 2018-05-30 15:01

 bugger that! Getting up at 430am for only a week or two nearly kills me now

ranmar850's picture

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Date Joined: 12/08/12

Only do it for a few days at a time, spread the effort.

Wed, 2018-05-30 16:02

 And mix it up with fishing. Can't do that much up our way during the whites, you are either in the demersal ban or the weather is crap, or both. 

Jackfrost80's picture

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Was just thinking yesterday

Wed, 2018-05-30 19:18

Was just thinking yesterday that I can't wait for these pots to clear out. 

If they're going to allow them during the time of year with shortened days I'd like to see something done about the poor state of some of the floats out there which are hard to spot in daylight let alone in the dark.

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sea-kem's picture

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 I run 3 big floats on mine

Wed, 2018-05-30 20:54

 I run 3 big floats on mine for that distinct purpose, easy to spot a ways off.

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Rob H's picture

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 If you cant see cray floats

Thu, 2018-05-31 14:41

 If you cant see cray floats then you certainly wont see that piece of wood floating level or swimmer etc

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The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

Everyone's just winging it.

 

hezzy's picture

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imo winter fishing for crays

Wed, 2018-05-30 21:19

imo winter fishing for crays is no big issue , if you work it right its well worth it and less effort than the whites run ,

ramps are less congested , you only go one or two times a week,at best in between the weather , crays are plentiful ,
as the water is dirty usually crays will stay in pots over 3-5 days no probs , do your pot runs in the arvo and then hang on the pick for a quick snapper fish

you even get to pick up an occy or two for bait

it allows recs to fish when it suits them ,

lots of family now can take a few pots to jurien , Dongara or Kalbarri , two weeks away , have ago and add some fun to the trip

it will hopefully get people fishing at different times and not just the whites , so smooth out the effort more evenly
win win imo

hezzy

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 Good job hezzy to all

Wed, 2018-05-30 21:33

 Good job hezzy to all involved although I will miss the derby day who got the first  only thing that needs doing now is to allow transporting tails no reason a size or weight limit couldn't work hard to bring a ornate or too home in a engel same for the big boys down your way well done all the same. 

still trying's picture

Posts: 132

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 Hey Andy i think i read in

Thu, 2018-05-31 06:15

 Hey Andy i think i read in the new rules u that they are limiting recs pots to only 2 floats i know they mean 2 sets of licences on each pot but the way it was worded was 2 floats. Definitely agree with your system though. 

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timboon's picture

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 Jack you big homo, put some

Thu, 2018-05-31 06:59

 Jack you big homo, put some glasses on, or is your one eye not so good anymore?

 

Alternitively guys could take out big bunches of bright pretty flowers and 100 mile an hour them to their floats to help you see them and secondly help you enjoy the experience.....

rob90's picture

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 Year round shark attractant?

Thu, 2018-05-31 08:40

 Year round shark attractant? Might need to keep the yak off the blue now. More reason for me to buy a boat. Plus the guys that " give " crays away will be laughing will a little extra income year round, not that anyone around here would do it. Less congeted ramps around chrissy to. 

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hezzy's picture

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rob 90 if you look at where

Thu, 2018-05-31 15:17

rob 90

if you look at where shark attacks have occurred in wa most have been in the lower west to south west , not mid west , from memory 1 fatality at abrolhos and 1 at wedge or ledge ,

while places like south point have had several ,but really low nos of pots in water there , and no commercials there??

up the mid west has far higher concentrations of pots in water , both rec and comms , but low attack rates ??

most attacks are occuring south of mindarie ,to augusta , either side of that are realy outliers of lower numbers

so imo this idea of pots bringing sharks in is an emotional one , which is not factual if you look at the numbers on a map ,

the sharks are here and will continue to migrate into our coastal waters all year round in varying densitys at different places depending on time of the year ,

so the year round shark attractant is a nonsense really

yaks ?? well anyone who uses one is at the same risk as a boatie etc , your out on the water and you must then expect to potentially meet marine animals , some of them big ones , the size of your vessel should just indicate its limitations to you and the places it safely may be used if you use good judgement night yak fishing for snapper for example just might be more risky than a boat

hezzy ,

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evil flourishes when good men do nothing

 

rob90's picture

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 All true, my comment was

Fri, 2018-06-01 11:07

 All true, my comment was based on the fact that fishing inshore ground during cray season has seen more shark activity then during the off season, im guessing that 50 pots of rotting fish will attract sharks to that area that would generally be in deeper water. Which happens to be the only ground availabe for yakkas to fish. Im not against the open season i think its great, just means that inshore yakking might be a thing of the past for me as ive got a family to think of now, hence saving for a boat. Recent sightings during heavily potted times of year were the reason for my comment. Sharks are out there and we all know the risks, I'll just need to be more vigilant when fishing around pots. It also take a certain amount of balls and loss of brain cells to fish those snapper at night, adrenaline pumping stuff.

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Balchinian's picture

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Bait lids missing

Thu, 2018-05-31 15:24

Just wondering if any of the experienced cray potters out there have had this happen to them?

We have had our pots out off Ocean Reef since last November with no issues and all of a sudden in the last few trips out we've been pulling our pots up with the bait lids missing.  This has happended on 3 pots now.  Never been an issue up till last few weeks. 

We're using the large size red plastic bait boxes/lids.  Just wondering what could be doing this as it takes a fair amount of force? 

We are thinking most likely a seal as opposed to an occy? From our experience occys tend to eat the biggest cray and leave you a cray head shell and your bait box is untouched..  We have started adding a tie to the lids so we wont lose them in future.

I know there was footage on PerthNow of a seal playing in the tell-tale stream of a boats outboard motor in Hiilarys in the last few weeks....

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Thu, 2018-05-31 16:38

 Trained occy’s

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little johnny's picture

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As above

Thu, 2018-05-31 19:03

Or stingrays. They sit on pot and suck lid off easily. Seen it underwater few times while diving. Small hole in lid and zippy tie fixes it

rob90's picture

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 Few seasons ago we had our

Fri, 2018-06-01 10:49

 Few seasons ago we had our pots outta ocean reef and had the thin ply lids on a few pots smashed apart by seals. Could see all the scratch marks around them we had them cable tied shut but didnt stop them. Was only once tho.

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hezzy's picture

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list below of wa fatal shark

Fri, 2018-06-01 13:45

list below of wa fatal shark attacks since 95, with a rough guide on cray pots, and seals or whales nearby , not science but it does not link cray pots being fished with attacks as an obvious imo

Fatal September 1995 at Hopetoun - great white
no cray pots
seals nearby
whales migrating

Fatal January 1997 at Geraldton - tiger shark
cray pots but likly min recs only as white run finished and majority comms would be deeper water/offshore
seals

Fatal November 2000 at North Cottesloe Beach - great white
cray pots med , as whites run not started
seals nearby
whales migrating

Fatal July 2004 at Margaret River - two sharks seen, likely great whites
no cray pots season closed
seals nearby

Fatal March 2005 at Abrolhos Island - great white
crays pots plenty , island season close to open or open
seals ?

Fatal December 2008 at Port Kennedy - great white
xmas, whites run gone min cray pots in area
seals nearby

Fatal August 2010 at Cowaramup Bay - great white
no cray pots season closed
seals nearby

Fatal September 2011 at Bunker Bay - great white
no cray pots season closed ,
seals nearby
whales in large numbers nearby

Fatal October 2011 at Rottnest Island - great white
min cray pots ,
seals nearby
whale migration

Fatal October 2011 at Cottesloe Beach - species unknown
min cray pots ,
seals nearby
whale migration

Fatal March 2012 at Stratham Beach - great white
min cray pots
seal sighted nearby for 3weeks

Fatal July 2012 at Wedge Point - great white
no cray pots season closed
seals nearby

Fatal November 2013 off Gracetown - species unknown
min cray pots,
seals nearby
whales migration

Fatal December 2014 at Cheynes Beach - great white
no cray pots ,
seals ?

Fatal May 2016 at Falcon Beach, Mandurah - great white
min cray pots,
seals ??

Fatal June 2016 at Mindarie - great white
min cray pots
seals nearby

Fatal April 2017 at Kelps Beds, Esperance - great white
no cray pots
seals nearby

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OFW 11

evil flourishes when good men do nothing

 

hezzy's picture

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Date Joined: 27/11/09

couple of good reads here in

Fri, 2018-06-01 13:56

couple of good reads here in these links below looking at whale numbers and attacks for the last century or so

http://www.washarkattacks.net/swimming-deaths.php

Shark attacks and whale migration
in Western Australia

Other causes

Authorities have argued that increased shark attacks are due to a rapidly growing human population and more people swimming, diving or surfing at WA beaches, as well as the attraction of recovering seal numbers.

However, this doesn't explain why attacks were common a hundred years ago, including several fatalities before the 1930s when whale numbers were the same or higher than today but there were far fewer people in WA.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
These CSIRO figures suggest that whale numbers synchronise far more closely with shark attacks than do the number of human swimmers.

This data shows fewer Australians participating in swimming, surfing and similar marine-based activities over the decade - down from a total 2,782,100 in 2001 to 2,615,300 in 2010, with total participation down from 18.4% to 14.9% of the population.

The number of shark attacks in Australia has risen from an average 6.5 per year in the 10 years from 1990-2000 to 15 incidents per year over the past decade. The number of Australians swimming didn't increase by 230%.
---------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.washarkattacks.net/shark-attacks.php

Unlike early years when the most dangerous swimming season was summer and the most likely killer was a tiger shark, there has been a clear shift toward winter and spring attacks with great whites the usual predators.

A significant majority of non-fatal WA shark attacks in recent years have also occurred during the whale migration and, based on shark attack months over the past 40 years, it seems the safest time to swim is from late December to April when the weather is hot to mild and the beaches are often crowded.

There was a flurry of attacks in Australia and WA between 1959 and 1966, their cause unknown but unlikely to be a single man-eater because the figures suggest an increase around Australia (although great whites often roam for thousands of kilometres). Except for this period, there was a general decline from the 1930s until the year 2000, since when there has been a consistent increase around Australia.

There were 21 shark attacks in WA from 1959 to 1966, including a fatality, and this is the only period since the 1920s when there was some frequency. This seven year anomaly is unexplained and does not correlate with low whale numbers.

Humpback whaling has been banned in the southern hemisphere since 1963 but it wasn't until the 1990s that whale watchers reported increasing pod numbers.

Changing patterns of shark attacks in Australian waters, published by the CSIRO in 2011, charts the months of shark attacks, fatal and non-fatal, from 1990 to 2009:

These are national figures and heavily biased by Australia's heavily populated southern states of South Australia, Victoria and much of NSW where great whites inhabit the waters year round. Eastern seaboard great whites migrate north to the Great Barrier Reef each year, coinciding with the migration of humpback whales.

Using Shark Attack File.Info data from the first attack in 1803 till 2012, WA's fatal and non-fatal shark attack chart is similar to the national record above since 1990, with the exceptions of April, November and December:

However, WA's record since 1990 shows a change in the monthly pattern:

The seasonal distribution of attacks has changed in WA and the data shows that attacks in the west occur more frequently in winter and spring than in the rest of Australia:

These figures are for all shark attacks and it is worthwhile considering charts of great white attacks only, starting with the first confirmed great white attack in 1946:

The monthly great white attack trend is also clear from 1990 to 2012 with a breakdown of fatal and non-fatal attacks:

The winter/spring bias may be due to these being favoured seasons for surfers, who represent a high proportion of attacks and fatalities, but the comparatively low attack rate in the popular beach season from February to June suggests the cause is increased numbers of great white sharks in WA waters from July to January.

It is apparent from the charts above that although national shark attack fatalities have not matched the 20 years in Western Australia, there has been an overall increase in attacks commensurate with recovering whale numbers.

Then again, could the shark attack increase be due to a growing Australian population, recovering seal numbers or other causes?

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OFW 11

evil flourishes when good men do nothing

 

hezzy's picture

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Is it the

Fri, 2018-06-01 14:07

Is it the seals?
http://www.washarkattacks.net/swimming-deaths.php

Seals have been protected in WA waters for almost a hundred years and their numbers have been slowly recovering, providing a larger menu attracting sharks to hunt closer to the WA coastline.

Seals are highly sought by white pointers but they are agile and a lot more difficult to catch than 50 tonnes of floating blubber in a dead whale carcass.

Much of the WA coast south of the city of Bunbury is a resting place for humpback whales and growing seal colonies in the area have also become more attractive to great white sharks over recent decades.

Great whites may confuse a human body for a seal if they happen to find one swimming near them. Sharks have very poor eyesight but an acute sense of smell and whale odour is very attractive. There is no instinctive attraction to the smell of humans who as prey are not worth swimming several thousand kilometres.

Without the increasing density of whales, there would be fewer great whites swimming along the WA coastline and there'd be less chance that a shark would make the mistake of attacking a human.

In March 2013, Feeding requirements of white sharks may be higher than originally thought (PDF download) reveals they eat far more frequently than previously estimated due to their high metabolic requirements. This study deals only with white sharks preying on seal colonies and does not consider the implications of greater food requirements influencing the sharks' attraction to whales as a target prey.

1.4 million tonnes of blubber

A few hours gorging on a whale carcass can nourish a great white for up to two weeks and this is a greater incentive to scavenge in coastal waters than hunting small seals.

The comparative nourishment value of seals, humans and whales for great whites can be described with a tongue-in-cheek analogy.

In 2016, close to 35,000 humpbacks were likely to have made the WA coastal migration. If an average adult whale weighs about 40 tonnes, that is 35,000 x 40 = about 1.4 million tonnes of a primary great white food source that wasn't swimming close to the coastline 30 years ago.

As for the swimming human data: 283,000 less swimmers in Australia (see above) x WA's national population proportion of 10% = 28,300 less WA swimmers x an average weight of 70 kilograms = 1,981,000 kilograms = 1,918 tonnes less human flesh to eat since 2002.

Compared to past decades, great white sharks are lured by nearly 1.4 million tonnes more fatty whale meat and blubber swimming through WA waters. There's about 2,000 tonnes less of the alternative human meat which is bony and less nutritious.

The analogy does not pretend to be accurate but the evidence suggests less swimming, particularly off WA beaches where the shark scare has been simmering for almost a decade.

There is no evidence that great whites have a taste for human flesh but it's well known that they adore whale meat, particularly calves and the carcasses of adults that die on the final leg of their 13,000 kilometre Antarctic migration when they hug the WA shore for calmer waters.

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OFW 11

evil flourishes when good men do nothing

 

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I often wondered why no one

Sat, 2018-06-02 08:28

I often wondered why no one has put reflectors on pot floats  to help see them at night, then I realised we live in a time where  someone would find it a lot easier to pinch them 

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 Exacary

Sat, 2018-06-02 09:09

 Exacary

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We were doing that as pro's

Sat, 2018-06-02 13:34

 Putting a short piece of 20mm conduit on the snood rope where it protruded above the float, wrap it in reflective tape. Made it easier to pick them up when  it was blowing it's arse off at dark o'clock.