Sustainable Fishing

What is sustainable fishing? How are we able to maintain a balance in a marine environment which is encountering increased pressure from a water orientated populace. It seems the Governments answer is to bring in Marine Parks and restricted fishing areas all the way along the Western Australian coastline. The problem seems to be that there is a great divide amongst the fishing community as to how to move foward and ensure we don't over fish our resource. Several mentalities of fishermen I have identified are:
Catch and Release (don't eat them at all)
Catch enough for a feed (release what you don't need)
Fish for the freezer (take what you can)
These are sub components of the main fishing bodies, recreationals and professionals.

When there are opponents to fishing, such as the greens and calm, it is extremely important for us as individuals to pool together to protect our rights as fishermen. I don't necessarily disagree with the idea's of marine parks, but want to know more about the process that they use to decide which area's should be closed and how they measure the success of that specific area being repopulated from being a no fishing zone. I have heard talk about a tag lottery system for category 1 demersels and am worried about how this will impact on fishing for our kids or fishing in general.

How the government deals with the increasing pressure on fish stocks will be very interesting. I do believe that areas such as the Cockburn Snapper Spawn, Rottnest Samsonfish Aggregation or areas which are known to be fish spawning grounds should be protected. These area's need to be regulated to ensure the generations of fish aren't wiped out by greedy fisherman looking to fill their freezer or by the guys that are making big $$$ out of killing fish.

So how do we go about protecting the fish? And how can we do it when there are so many vested interest groups. I want to be able to catch fish, put some back, keep a couple for dinner every now and then and ensure that my kids, and then their kids will still be able to go for a fish in the future. I don't want the next generation blaming us for wiping out so many species of fish as a result of greed or in some cases, neglecting to realise the impact we (commercials and rec's) have on the system.

Any thoughts?


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Preserving fish stocks

Fri, 2006-03-03 19:29

I reckon it won't be long before there is a specified fishing season similar to the abalone and crayfishing industries to preserve stocks. Will be hard on the pros and there may need to be some sort of compo for them but I don't know how successful marinas and reserves would be as they simply re - locate the fishos to deplete stocks somewhere else.

Would love to see some more assertive action on the 400 illegal boats and mother ships queuing up to get into the fish up north. Today trochus shells and shark fins - tomorrow anything that swims.

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Sustainablility is a very big issue

Sat, 2006-03-04 09:58

How does anyone KNOW for 100% certain what is or is not sustainable?

Some scientists believe they know what is sustainable! A lot of that is based on population Modelling in environments a lot different to Aus.

Some species benefit from marine parks and some don't. Pelagics suffer from longlining by other nations outside out 200 Mile economic zone!

Tis a big can of worms you've opened Adam!


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Fish or you

Mon, 2006-03-06 08:54

Easy Adam if ya want your kids and theirs to catch fish, you must put the fish first and chuck your rights out the window.Ocean is a big place, plenty of spots too fish.Shifting pressure is hog wash.Its already happening.Ask the MAACC boys where they fish.They don't launch from Hillary's. Straight up to Two Rocks and head North,So over fishing is already shifting pressure
A cat 1 tag is a certainty, It will happen and sooner then later and so it should,

As we have said before in a proposal.Compulsory log books with a salt rec licence, ban demersal fishing by commercial boats in the Metro and restrict the recs more.Sound simple hey


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Tue, 2006-03-07 10:04

I agree with banning demersal fishing by commercial boats and restrictions on recs within the metro. I think log books and even a salt rec license could be a good thing if managed correctly and oversighted - government control over license fee's worries me quite a bit, as to being another cash cow for them to spend elsewhere.

Could you explain more about the category 1 and the system you think will be put in place Wally?



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Cat 1

Tue, 2006-03-07 18:59

Easy,if ya wish to catch cat 1 species you apply for the lottery. if ya name gets pulled out of hat/barrel/computer then you receive a tag ( which ya may have too pay for) too catch a certain amount of cat 1 species,If ya name doesn't get pulled tuff tities, you cant catch these species, or if ya do you must release these fish.I would expect this too come in within 3 years

Something has too change, everyone smart enough knows this, there are too many people fishing for these fish, especially in the Metro where this may be trialled first.

A salt rec licence should be and if it did come in be based on the NSW model where a trust is set up, then a board will decide where too spend the money collected from the trust.

Compulsory log books is a great idea, that way they ( Fisheries) know exactly how many fish are getting ripped out.At the moment it is a stab in the dark guess, and we expect the scientist to manage fish that are slow growing and under performing spawner's ( Jewie)etc
Not too mention the IFM where they will know when the TAC has been reached.


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Tag System

Wed, 2006-03-08 09:23

I like the ideas Wally and think they are necessary for metro waters. I do think a lot of deliberation will be needed over this tag lottery system though.

I would prefer to see more scientific analysis of cat 1 spawning seasons/aggregations and locking up areas where they are known to school. I suppose then you have the problem of policing areas and spawning areas will become more well known to the public and is essentially inviting trouble. I must agree that log books are a brilliant idea though, if charters do it, so the recs should too.

I am just worried about my rights to continue fishing and taking my occassional category 1 fish and having it for dinner. I personally think that its the fish for the freezer mentality in the metro area that is killing it for the rest of us. I think a tag system would help promote that sort of thing, people only get one fish for their tag, they are going to make it the biggest and best they can. Especially considering there is a possibilty that they don't win the lotto and won't be able to take one next year.

How would you read into the tag system?


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adam it all comes down too

Wed, 2006-03-08 16:04

adam it all comes down too sustainability. If you say close off areas for spawning for the Jewie, where would you like too start.

Personally ya cant determine these points like the Pink snapper closure, could happen anywhere along the coast.Ask Dr Mike Mackie if he has found a spawning school of Jewies.Needle in a hay stack mate.

so we close fishing for Jewies at the time they spawn Feb/March, no can do do,How can ya tell people too stop fishing for Jewies when they put down a bait meant fore Snapper /Baldies /Black ass. doesn't work, a logistic nightmare.

Sadly the prized trophy fish that recs have put on a pedestal is in trouble. ask any decent old fisherman or scientists.slow growing under performing fish is the problem, with increasing pressure something has too give.

Adam you worry about your rights,

Well my words too that is what about your kids and mine kids rights,If they cant catch or view a Jewie the icon species that is so unique in many ways, then we have failed so bad it is beyond comprehension.And I know who;s doors my kids will be knocking on asking why


Ps Adam ya going too have too chuck ya rights out the window too ensure the Icon species is around for future generations

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Thu, 2006-03-09 16:29

Have we decided whats sustainable yet?

I know we are talking about management options like tag lotterys etc - but whats sustainable?

Aren't any of the boffins from Fisheries going to tell us what population modelling regime they favour?

I personally remain a cynic of their professional capability in this particular regard!

That said, let me say this - I've worked alongside some of Fisheries dept researchers like Zorba the Greek and Tony etc and these guys are legends!

Trouble is IMHO - their "political pay masters" get hold of the raw data and 'twist it' to suit certain vested interests particular desires / needs!

Explain this for example.

WAFIC (WA Fishing Industry Council...representing the pro lobster fishers largely) gets a international sustainability stewardship certification from some international crew, to say ours is one of the ONLY sustainable commercial lobser fisheries in the world!

Well done!

If it's so fricken sustainable, how come the purelus counts are down to buggery, the industrys introduced days off over the moon etc etc all to try and reduce catch effort coz the resource is in trouble????

If the industry and resource was so sustainable - we wouldn't be getting offered 7.5% of the TAC under the new IFM (Integrated Fishery Management) draft document!

The resource is stuffed and the sustainability claims are a bloody joke - Fisheries dept sadly have lost all, (any?), whatever, credibility that the good guys Like Zorba ever built up for them thru dedication and hard work, over such issues as this particular "sustainability" issue due to their cow towing to their paymasters and political influence at WAFIC!

If they actually did what was best for the resource and not their Lobster buddies & political paymasters, we might have half a chance of saving the resource for our kids as Wally suggests!

I say it again - IMHO Fisheires have no bloody idea what sustainable is!

Pity coz they have a gew good people working for them - obviously - they aren't the ones making the decisions or on the take!

This is a open forum - they (Fisheries) are quite free to post up and explain their population modelling assumptions on sustainability with regard to the lobster resource and how it got to this point, given the very publicly announced WAFIC "industry sustainability award certification" claims from some nefarious organisation overseas!

I remain a cynic... At least I post what I think - they have never yet faced any of their critics publicly in a forum such as this!

I for one am willing to listen!

So - what about it Fisheries? How bout explain your definition of 'sustainability' and provide us with your modelling assumptions?


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No response!

Sat, 2006-03-11 00:25

Thats pretty typical IMHO!!

No response was the stern reply! :rollseyes:

Just like jellyfish really - in need of a spine transplant! :grin:

What more would you expect from organisations like CALM and Fisheries who are both morally and ethically bankrupt when it comes to their legislated obligations to protect our resources for the benefit of future generations!!

Viva the revolution comrades!

When I'm self appointed benevolent dictater of this fair land - they will all be cray bait! he he he!

Keep takin the pills, keep takin the pills! :o(