Gascyone Pink Snapper Spawning Ban/ Closure- Have your say in the Fisheries/ Recfish survey

 Hey all

You might be aware that a Pink Snapper spawning closure (just for the pinks- all other demersals will still be fair game in the area) has been proposed for 3 months of the year in one of the main spawning areas out of Carnarvon- the north end of Bernier Island, similar to that in place in Cockburn sound etc.

This is a result of severely depleted Pinky stocks in the area. The proposal is now out for public comment and I would like to bring this to everyone attention to give you all the opportunity to have your say.

For those interested, here are the Fisheries official links that contains the maps and the details:

http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/About-Us/Media-releases/Pages/Rebuilding-Gascoyne-pink-snapper-stocks.aspx

http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/Documents/other/public_comment/gascoyne_oceanic_pink_snapper_proposal_2018.pdf

https://recfishwest.org.au/news/local-carnarvon-fishers-finally-get-their-say-on-snapper-conservation/

This is not all falling on the recreational fishing sector. I have it on pretty good authority that the commercial fisherman will be going down to 50t pink quota for the whole region (and they have chosen to do that themselves so good on them for it). That’s an approx. 75-80% reduction from current quota levels and they will also be locked out of the area in question, same as the rec guys.  As this quota covers the whole Gascoyne region (from north of Shark Bay to just south of the Murions) this big reduction in their quotas will effectively mean that they won’t be able to target Pinks in most of the other spawning grounds in the region as they would need to keep most of the remaining quota for their pink bycatch while fishing for other demersals. Last thing they would want to do is blow their pink quota early and effectively leave them not being able to fish mixed/ keep the pinks they get elsewhere.  All the other demersal fish stocks are pretty good by all accounts, so the pros should most def be allowed to make their livings chasing those IMO

That’s just what I’ve been told, so it might not be 100% true at this stage, but no doubt more information will follow in the coming weeks.  Fisheries should have probably included that info in the press releases in the links.

Please don’t turn this post into a commercial vs recreational debate, how it can’t be policed properly etc. It’s not the intent of it- it’s just to raise awareness and give everyone a chance to have their say through the survey

In my personal opinion, I think the proposal is pretty decent overall. It’s never going to perfect- it will be hard to police for the grey shirts (you’d like to think people will do the right thing, but we all know human nature unfortunately) etc. My only concern with it is that if it is a “no possession” ruling, it will stop everyone being able to anchor up at night in the area (the charter boats and most recs stay in the bays in the proposed area within the proposed region) and means a fair bit more travel around the top of the island on the way home if you keep a couple of pinks caught outside of the zone, which could cause some safety issues if it adds and extra 5-10kms onto your trip home, especially if the weather turns to crap while you’re out there. But again, just my only semi-educated opinion. Make up your own mind.

If you fish in the Gascoyne region (keep in mind that not just poor old Carnarvon, this will inadvertedly affect everyone from Shark Bay to Exmouth in terms of Pink snapper stocks for the future), nows your chance to have your say via the survey


Swompa's picture

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 Curious to know from people

Wed, 2018-03-21 20:23

 Curious to know from people up there if it is a good thing or not? Certainly seems like a good thing in Cockburn Sound.

black gen's picture

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Date Joined: 13/04/11

 It's not a good thing at all

Wed, 2018-03-21 21:46

 It's not a good thing at all because no one actually targets them in carnarvon 

you can literally get them on bare hooks and if they shut the pros out it will recover

 

it's not a good thing because as with blue manna crab fishery in carnarvon had been raped within an inch of its life by a couple of pros and then is passed back onto the Recs as their problem

Proposed closures are going to see no fishing diving whatever in a prime area during the excellent weather months and in a place like carnarvon where at the moment is a struggling little town, 

the impact of depleted tourism from a fishing closure would send the town down the tube further 

 

no good at all and i urge anyone on here who enjoys fishing up north anywhere not just carnarvon to voice your opinion on the feedback forms, similar to th fish traps, because if this gets through then unfortunately it will be the start of further closures elsewhere and will set a precedent for future action 

we are all fishing for fun and food type blokes, mostly, and 99% of us on here do the right thing and it's not fair to be dictated to because of some poor operation and management of a fishery by a select few are 

so get behind the cause boys and sign the petition 

Quobbarockhopper's picture

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Date Joined: 28/05/10

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Thu, 2018-03-22 08:35

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black gen's picture

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 It's not a good thing at all

Wed, 2018-03-21 21:50

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Posts: 251

Date Joined: 19/06/14

Bring it on

Wed, 2018-03-21 22:32

If the fishery is needing a closure for a while then it should be done ( sensibly ) Speaking of the town heading south I went to order a pizza last night and there’s no more Pizza Hut WTF ? ... First Cheeki Pizzeria now Pizza Hut . Then again , forced me to make a killer penne aribiatta for dinner ...:) 

____________________________________________________________________________

 My wife understands why I clean my rods n reels in the shower....

 

Quobbarockhopper's picture

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The new Thai place at Harrys

Thu, 2018-03-22 08:06

The new Thai place at Harrys is surprisingly good mate!

carnarvonite's picture

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Spawning areas

Thu, 2018-03-22 05:26

What is needed is to ban pros from fishing on all the known spawning areas for the three month breeding season. Closing Bernier Island off to all will only see extra pressure onthe other spawning areas off Dorre and Dirk Hartog islands plus the ones off Cape Cuvier and further north.

All the pro boats have tracking systems fitted and by monitoring these [that is if fisheries can be bothered like what happened to Murray Turner on his trawler, Returner off Port Samson] and enforcement of the closure  can be ensured

Quobbarockhopper's picture

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so you think that 50T spread

Thu, 2018-03-22 08:33

so you think that 50T spread over the fleet (approx 12 boats, local and visitors, who hold quota currently, but you probably know better) of pink is going to go any further that just covering their pink by-catch when targeting mixed finfish and automatic daily deductions? Id think this alone would mean the other spawining grounds would be pretty much untouched? Or else they risk not being able to fish for other stuff at all if they use their pink quota on targeting cheap pinks?

ranmar850's picture

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They certainly monitor the wetliners out of home

Thu, 2018-03-22 06:58

 if the VMS has a genuine failure at sea, and it has happened, they are using all available methods to contact the vessel in question and order them to return to port. Seriously. Because these blokes quota is days, not catch. When they took so long to realise the Returner had disappeared, this was my first thought-they harass the F** out of mid-west wetliners, and don't bother to follow up on a prawn trawler  for days after it goes black? 

As carnarvonite says, you don't want to simply shift pressure by closing off one area, but quobba rockhoppers argument also has merit, in that their reduced quota may have an effort effect on the spawning aggregations outside that of a simple percentage reduction.

I personally doubt I'll take part in the survey as my response will end up being abusive and along the lines of " you stupid bastards, who lecture to us on stocks and biomass, etc, have seen this developing for f***g decades, and presided over what is becoming a stock collapse scenario. You restrict amateur fisherman to 2 pink snapper each, while allowing destruction of the breeding stock, during the actual breeding cycle--but you wouldn't acknowledge it was the mid-west breeding stock, would you,  despite all evidence to the contrary. You wouldn't listen to those of us who are on the water, you've been warned about this for a long time, now chooks have come home to roost. I really hope this is career destroying for some of you" 

Swompa's picture

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I kind of want to copy and

Thu, 2018-03-22 12:21

I kind of want to copy and paste that as my response :-)

ranmar850's picture

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Please , help yourself

Thu, 2018-03-22 13:06

 

DTrain's picture

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With regards to the safety

Thu, 2018-03-22 12:45

With regards to the safety issues of people trying to move around the closed areas with pinks on board, they could do it the same way as they do the Cockburn sound:

"It is illegal to be in possession of pink snapper while fishing in the waters of Cockburn and Warnbro sounds during the closed season. However, pink snapper taken outside the sounds may be transported through, and immediately landed within, the area during the closed season."

 

Are there any stats on commercial tons vs recreational tons? If the bulk of the catch is being caught by commercial guys, then maybe they should bear the brunt of the response. If the recreational fishers aren't catching enough to make a difference then maybe they should be left as it is to encourage tourism etc.

Quobbarockhopper's picture

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Stats on reccy catches are

Thu, 2018-03-22 14:14

Stats on reccy catches are always sketchy as they are only derived from the surveys etc… and Im guessing that most fishos aren’t adverse to stretching the truth a bit either way if it suits themJ

From what I understand (and again, this is all just 3rd hand info and my opinions, so may or may not be right) the reccys Pink snapper average is 20t per year. But that’s for the entire Gascoyne region (Shark bay to just south of Murions). So, my rough “guestimations” would be that of that 20T, you could say that Carnarvon might account for 25% of that. And from that 25%, say 50% of that (being generous) comes from the identified area. As the closure is only for 3 months (which, as it is the spawning time, aka, more pinks around), you could say that 50% of the total years pink catch for that area comes from the proposed closure region. So, after all that, you might suppose it equates to approx.  1-3T of Pink Snapper saved, or an 80%ish reduction in catch.

For the commercials- their quota is 230ishT a year. It is proposed they will go down to 50T. So for them as well, approximately 80% reduction. Not sure exactly what their catch tonnage has been over the last couple of years but its definitely a fair bit less than that, showing again that the overall stock levels are in pretty bad shape.

 

Just my uneducated opinion with some assumptive mathematics thrown in. Make your own minds up and put it in the survey- finger pointing etc on here isn’t going to have much effect as telling those who are making these decisions directly

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Commercial quota

Thu, 2018-03-22 14:17

The commercial quota is in 10 tonne increments so you need at least 1 unit (10t) to have access to fish the shark bay snapper fishery.
It has been a lot of years since you were actually allowed to catch that 10 t, I fished the Bay in '04 through to '07 and we were only allowed to catch 6.6t of our 10 tonne quota.

Quobbarockhopper's picture

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hey mateI think those

Thu, 2018-03-22 16:53

hey mate

I think those measurements are a bit outdated:

http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/Documents/occasional_publications/fop101.pdf

 
See Index 3.4:

Class A (pink snapper) unit of entitlement = 54 kilograms per unit

Class B (demersal scalefish) unit of entitlement = 31 kilograms per unit

...You need 100 units minimum of both mixed and pink to start a season- as in 5.4T of Pink and 3.1T of mixed- "3.1 To commercially fish in the GDSF you will need to ensure the vessel being used is listed as the authorised boat on a GDSF Managed Fishery Licence with a minimum of 100 units of both Class A and Class B" 
 
3.6 is also interesting- minimum debit rule for pink snapper.  If they get less than 50T in a day, it still counts as 50T, If they go over the 50T in a given day, it rounds up to the nearest 50 (90=100, 120=150 etc), so they are again losing actual taken fish. Obviously a good thing for stocks, not so good for them. 
 
Id probably imagine the boats that still do come to the Gascoyne (Id guess a few of the regular out of towners might not bother with the new reduced quota- they will probably lease their quota to others or local boats already here) will only have 100 or so units to spread it around as much as possible. But thats just my guesswork- who knows how all that will play out. 
 
cheers

Posts: 132

Date Joined: 26/04/11

Thanks

Fri, 2018-03-23 07:50

So they had already reduced it further.

With the bycatch quotas it wont be viable for the out of towners I would think.

We never had a quota on bycatch and would target goldband etc

ranmar850's picture

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You can't transport through zones in SB Pink snapper fishery

Thu, 2018-03-22 13:10

 Snapper caught outside the zones may not be transported through them. ie, in the Freycinet zone, (lower Carrarang and tamala)you can't camp at Tea tree and go up just past Freycinet island to get into the regular zones, then transport back into or through the controlled area. 

 

Posts: 77

Date Joined: 07/11/08

 All good points. do the

Thu, 2018-03-22 13:27

 All good points. do the survey and put it out there. travelling through would be handy even just on the saftey side of things if nothing else. thats the sort of info recfish west need. even making the shore line exempt so we can use the northrn anchorages still. stats on pinks for the recs are 20tonne for the whole gascoyne(steep point to coral bay including the inner gulfs). quota was at 230 tonne for the commercial guys with 70% caught around carnarvon during the spawn. they are talking dropping to 50 tonne. 

Posts: 251

Date Joined: 19/06/14

Harry’s on Hubble ?

Thu, 2018-03-22 13:59

 Ta Rockhopper , we’ll have to catch up and have that beer that you suggested 1w months ago! . Kinda got a little side tracked renovating my house ...:)

____________________________________________________________________________

 My wife understands why I clean my rods n reels in the shower....

 

Quobbarockhopper's picture

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Date Joined: 28/05/10

 yeah mate, thats the

Thu, 2018-03-22 14:07

 yeah mate, thats the one.

 

Always up for beer mate