Government taking portion of commercial catch

anyone hear about this? Not sure of the details, but think the govt wants to increase the commercial quota, but take control of a portion of it. Think I heard something like 17%. Don’t know the details, but can’t imagine would be good for either the commercial guys, or recreational fishers? Couple of good years and it seems they think it’s time to hammer the stocks? Like I said, don’t know the details, but would be keen to hear from someone in the know! 

IncognitOh's picture

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Date Joined: 29/04/17

Country hour

Wed, 2018-12-12 00:11

 Interesting discussion on ABC radio

Industry reps seem to think the increase is not sustainable 

I cant see any government of any persuaion being able to manage a commercial resource or part thereof

My most unfavorite minister did nothing in the ABC interveiw to convince me otherwise either!

Rob H's picture

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Date Joined: 18/01/12

 OK here is my take on it for

Wed, 2018-12-12 01:23

 OK here is my take on it for what its worth.

Rec 5% actual tonnage should not change.

This is due to it being linked to sustainable catch rather than the reduced quantity being caught by commercial (6200T vs 8000T)

HOWEVER please note the following...

Commercial fishers have voluntarily held to the reduced tonnage for both commercial and environmental reasons.

We have ALL benefited from this, especially in the increased availibility of crays in close and year round.

Now, the government has decided that they can sell this part of the resource, and are packaging it in a way that is designed to divide all of us that have an interest in the resource.

Over the last few years, resource sharing has settled on a 5/95% share of the total catch.

Generally, this has been accepted by all stakeholders (rec/pro) and is the basis of the increased bag limits and longer season we ALL enjoy now

This move by the government to take control and sell the buffer that has been accumulated in the ocean is dangerous, and any rec who thinks "fuck em, it wont worry me" should think again.

"Divide and conquer", is a strategy that works on those who stupid enough to fall for it.

If you think commercial cray fishermen are your opponents then you have your eyes closed.
Til now, I pushed my viewpoint of solidarity on the lines that PEW/PETA and greenys were the opponents.
Few of us saw this coming, and its a suprise that the State Government would try this on.

Unite, and support opposition to this vague, whimsical proposition that has little detail or data to support the risks. 

Bear in mind also, that if the resource were to collapse from either pressure or environmental circumstances, it is us (Joe public taxpayer) who will liable to compensate no matter which party is in power at the time.

If you dont agree with what I am saying, then you should get off your ass and participate in the process by volunteering your time like a few of us here do.

Uninformed views and comments like we are seeing on Facebook at the moment WILL undermine the entire process and the resource itself.

Before you comment, please at least make the most rudimentary effort to confirm up your viewpoint.

Its like push starting a car, if one peabrain thinks its better to push it backwards while 2 are pushing it forwards, despite your best intentions you are just ass fking people who are smarter than you.


 Give a man a mask, and he'll show you his true face...



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.


ranmar850's picture

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Wed, 2018-12-12 06:16

 What Rob H said. Couldn't have said it better myself. Nice little earner for them, should they decide to lease the pots out, OR, they could withhold it, should research say that they are over-using the resource. highly unlikely, given the state of finances. This has immediately created great uncertainty in the industry, really not what is needed.

Walfootrot's picture

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Funny how they took pots from

Wed, 2018-12-12 06:36

Funny how they took pots from pro's years ago, now they just give it to themselves, they should give it back to the people they took then from.... just saying my 2c


More drum lines, kill the bloody sharks!

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Yeah. I’m afraid this would

Wed, 2018-12-12 06:50

Yeah. I’m afraid this would create a fair bit of uncertainty for the pros.... also think I read somewhere that the amounts they suggested are based on a estimated maximum sustainable amount. Don’t think pushing anything go the max will ever turn out good in the end. From what I can see at this stage doesn’t look like will be good for either rec or pro fishers...and forgive me for being a bit synical  but it seems a lot of the time our govt decisions seem ho be focussed mainly on immediate financial gain, regardless what it might do to future stocks. 

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Can we unban Trouty? He loves

Wed, 2018-12-12 07:18

Can we unban Trouty? He loves this argument.  


Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

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Date Joined: 10/12/07

Bloody Politics

Wed, 2018-12-12 07:36

Currently 70,000 pots in the industry. Labor have just issued themselves 17% of the industry, say 12,000 pots. 1.3m kg of quota. Pots were recently $70k-$100k for the licence and $5k for the lease. With a stroke of a pen they have create an $1B asset and $60m in recuring revenue.  Though I have based those figures before the government announcement. No doubt that market is slightly rattled. Complete cash grab. Don't believe all the other BS about cheap crays for local industry etc. I imagine Labor have done the numbers and know that not a lot of votes will be lost. Politics 101. Only chance this has of being defeated is as Rob H says. Amateurs need to kick up a fuss. Crays will be harder to catch.



z00m's picture

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Date Joined: 10/05/14


Wed, 2018-12-12 07:49

 From reading the proposal, the desired outcome is to make cheaper crays available to general Joe public. He is neither a professional nor a rec fisher.

The rest of the proposal seemed to be about creating yet another government department to manage/oversee something (it was a bit vague) and for research.

None of it seems well thought out.

The gummint could purchase/subsidise something to put cheaper crays on the local market without going through all this surely. Any money raised from the extra 1800T will likely be spent running a bloated new department within a few years.

What are they doing to get our gas back to a price comparable to what we sell it overseas for?

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Date Joined: 13/08/11

I feel sorry for the pro cray

Wed, 2018-12-12 08:00

I feel sorry for the pro cray fishing guys, after years of hard work building up their industry they have just had it turned on its head once again. I love how they sprout it is a community resource and it should be for all of WA to enjoy. I say bugger the crays, the community resource I want that belongs to west Australians is the oil and gas, that comes from our state. In some arab countries they pay nothing for gas and very little for petrol. If I had the option between cheap crays and cheaper oil and gas I know which one I would take. I think I can guess which one would be better for the economy as well.

Unfortunately the gov would never take on the oil and gas industry, but the cray industry is small and makes a nice easy target.

Shame on you Labor!

Jackfrost80's picture

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When do we install the statue

Wed, 2018-12-12 09:56

When do we install the statue of Lenin at Dumas House?


If catching wrasse is cool, consider me Miles Davis

hezzy's picture

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where to start here well

Wed, 2018-12-12 10:57

where to start here

well first off , i think the current gov suddenly increasing the tac within the rock lobster fishery by 17% & allocating that to themselves is abig negative for all of us ,recs and pros

however its onpy part of the long term history in this fishery

so to begin imo

this is a slight of hand imo , purely to grab some easy cash for the gov , the hard won gains have been done by both groups since mid 1990s or thereabouts, and the gov now wishes to give itself a pay day off our improvements in the biomass out there ..

the gov , is trying to spin this as a win for wa and the wa community , well it might be if they pay debt down , but imo there not being honest , it wont create 500 jobs, it wont take the large controllign power groups out of the rock lobster industry , it wont bring back smaller local family operated cray boats to places alomng the coast

the gov cant catch this allocation , they cant process it and will likly use a fair %of it to be caught by the current industry boats, and processed the same , for sale overseas for best price per kg .it wont result in many cheaper crays for wa people to buy in shops here .even though that is the supposed intent , not only with this change but originally with the issuing of the access rights /cray licences the commercials have paid for way back in the day .their reason for existence was to catch from the free natural resource that was owned collectivly by the wa public on the basis that mnay cant or dont and have a right to a supply of that resource via the commmercials

and i would agree with rob and ranmar, both groups now in 2018 need to oppose it and stay united .....this alocation is not based on sustainability , just a cash grab and possibly to weaken the power players in this fishery over time

recs have always been at the smallest chair to this rock lobster fishery table . we have just gotten crumbs in reality .......dont forget that , thats the history , and it certainly wont change anytime soon imo

iv followed this for along time , and back in the 90, down south here the gov bought out /removed many of the boats in the old E zone ., this caused alot of them to leave , sell out or just go broke ..they brought in a no tar spot, setose , and tail clipping rules back then , this slowly built up the cray stocks during the late 90s ,compared to what we had seen in the 80s etc to the early 2000s, , prior to 2000 very few commercial boats worked past busso for crays , and the dept would attest the crays on the coast below cape naturaliste did not have any impact on the overall sustainability of the west coast fishery ......?????? YES that was there belief , all the big breeders down there , did not contribute zip ?/they felt there spawnign was being taken way south out inot the southern ocean and dieing . never returning to the wa coast

anyway , we started getting good catches south of busso in late 90s, .then word got out that a few [ 4-5 boats ] commercial boats with along history of fishign down there in the E&D zones where getting killer numbers of crays ,[2000 kg + ] daily this was leaked via processors etc , very soon the influx of commercial boats [ 50-75 boats ] with tens of thousands of pots from the metro and north started to fish down along the capes ....... within 4 years it was flogged to hell and catches declined again to bugger all , this combined with poor recruitment along the coast and other factors , water temps etc saw the biomass supposedly collapse , peureles counts dropped dramatically ,

in feb of 2004 i wrote this to the fishieres dept below to put it on record with them my concerns
Tuesday, 17 February 2004 4:14 PM
Subject: proffesional rock lobster fisherman ,, south of bunbury

dear sirs ,,,

i would like to bring to your attention the following points that are causing me great concern about the future of the rock lobster fishery south of bunbury., this is my home ground if you like and i have fished here for over 35 years from bunbury to windy harbour and i currently believe we are watching the rape of a lobster stock that equals the disaster in shark bay on the snapper stock of the early eighties ...

1 we currently have a huge fleet of rock lobster boats operating in this zone ,, on a scale never before seen prior to 2001 …..these boats have an enormous capacity re fishing effort and ability to operate for extended periods over a huge area of coastline there pot entitlements are on a very large scale

2 the catch rate for most of these boats is at a unprecedented level never before seen in this area with thousands of kilos a day being taken from this stock ,, the fisheries dept themselves have stated that stock in this area is at the southern extremities of the breeding zone and is susceptible to overfishing and fluctuations from the leeuwin current yet they are not willing to restrict these licence holders in any way

3 the commercial lobster licences from the E zone south of augusta were removed from the fishery by the dept in the early nineties,... all but two .because it was not sustainable or commercialy viable and the stock was in danger ??

4 fisheries dept, introduced the 77 mm rule as well as tar spot and setose .tail clipping ,,,and the limits on big breeding females in the mid nineties ,,, what was the purpose of this to breed up the stock for seven or so years and then let all the hard work be undone in a few seasons by a fleet of these boats with no history in the area and with no regard to the effect this is having

5 the large jumbo male population of lobster are being taken out of the breeding stock at a rapid rate ,,, who will the big females mate with ??? the dept by there own publications states that big females need to be rolled over by a male to breed successfully ... every other area has had there big crays wiped out, and around geraldton they are no were near as plentiful as they once were .....the big female lobster down here will breed 2-3 times in a season this needs to be protected by placing some sustainable limits on these commercial operators

thanks for the opportunity to voice my thought s on these issues

regards mike heslewood
ps any feedback would be welcome

they advised me all was ok and we had just seen a one of spike in cray numbers and they needed to be fished down all would be ok ......

however from 2005 - 2010-11 the crays for us where way down and numbers low .we then had almost no commercial fish this area, it was flattened ........ the then minister for fisheries norman moore then looked at introducing quotas in his time as fisheries minister , he also reduced the rec bag limt to 6 per licence ?? remember that ?? and increased the size of escape gaps etc etc ... ..recs still only had 5% of the total TAC under IFM RULES .....but we had to share the responsibility for the reductions ..even theough recs did not play any part in the ""collapse "" he admitted to us at one meeting with him it was done purely for political reasons to satisfy the commercial sector and WAFIC ...they argued we ''all '' should take a cut

.around this same time , the west coast demersal scale fish TAC was also being looked at by the fisheries dept , the commericals had overfished their TAC by up to 50% over along time [12 years ] the dept had known about it , but it took 10 years plus to bring in new changes ......... this when it was introduced affected many cray boats ability to wetline , thus they became less viable , combined with the changes in rock lobster many upheavals ,vessel reductions losses and bankruptcies occuured , no denying it caused huge impacts to the commercials , families , suicides, divorces etc .....which was very tragic .........the dept of fishieries bears the blame for that imo along with the minister as they had or should have known the industry needs to change sooner, all the warnings signs where there from 2000 -2001

the current shape of the commercial industry is largely pricing smaller players out , via leasing costs , buy in costs , investors etc , its become alarge entity , that does not supply much of its catch to the wa public , its all about export and yes it bring in dollars, but to some degree , id ask why the industry iteslf did not move to allocate a bigger % of its catch to the local population here in wa ?? they have imo , left the door open for the gov now to try this move on , when they needed to be more proactive in safe guarding it by keeping thier core mission looked after

over time recs got our increased bag limit back ,rec fishwest has worked with wafic together to help keep a good relationship ongoing around IFM for rock lobster ..... recs are still getting bugger all imo and should have a higher % of the tac .however that needs to be negotiated with all players , this gov grab , ha snow upturned it all gain and will not bode well for us recs again into the future imo



OFW 11

evil flourishes when good men do nothing


little johnny's picture

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Interesting read

Wed, 2018-12-12 11:06


Swompa's picture

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So the rec fishing fees

Wed, 2018-12-12 13:54

So the rec fishing fees increase, the quota for rec fishers goes up and down and the government decides they want a piece of the pie? Where's the science?

little johnny's picture

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Not science

Wed, 2018-12-12 15:04

Money money money

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Date Joined: 30/12/09

I don’t target crays at all

Wed, 2018-12-12 18:18

I don’t target crays at all cause I very go fishing anymore due to other commitments. Where do recfishwest stand on this decision and what are their thoughts on this topic? Have they been silenced through other deals done? Just reading through the above and the other post by rob h it appears that numbers will only be created via the rec fisher. If this is the case shouldn’t recfishwest be taking the lead? Just my thoughts. 


 Get busy living, or get busy dying!

Walfootrot's picture

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Date Joined: 23/07/12

Thu, 2018-12-13 06:31

Good to see some opposition to this brain fart idea


More drum lines, kill the bloody sharks!