Billfish handling

Ok now I expect this topic to get some interesting replies so here goes.

The question is why do people find it neccessary to heave billfish up over the side of the boat just for the purpose of a photo. What is wrong with hanging onto the bill of the fish in the water and taking the photo like that?

Granted it wont look quite as good but is a hell of a lot better for the fishes survival chances. Heaving large awkward fish like that over the side of the vessel then up on someones lap/side of the vessel cant help the buggers at all but probably does some bad damage to them we dont know about yet let alone wipe the protective slime off them we all have heard about.

Righto folks thats my opinion and feel free to add yours but remember Im not having a stab at anyone just putting my preffered method across. I just think they are to nice of an animal and deserve every increase in survival rates they can get and if that means sacrificing the photo then who cares.


Adam Gallash's picture

Posts: 15492

Date Joined: 29/11/05


Fri, 2006-06-02 10:22

Tough one there Gully.

When it comes to capturing that memorable moment people still resort to bringing them home and hanging them up to get a photo, even taxidermy. So my opinion would be that bringing one onboard for a quick photo and release is the lesser of two evils. Sure there may be some damage done to the fish, but atleast it has some chance of survival.

In regards to catching and releasing boatside and taking a happy snap, probably the best method for preserving the fish's condition and hard to refute. After watching Gribbo catch a marlin last year, his first, the boats first, we just had to bring it onboard to get a photo with it to reveal its true size as the video camera didn't give an accurate representation of its magnificence (might be a bit different with an underwater camera :) ).

As for sacrificing the photo, tough one there as well, I would much prefer to see a photo of someone pulling it out of the water or potentially causing it damage from mishandling, rather than seeing it mounted on someone's pool room wall.


Site Admin - Just ask if you need assistance

Posts: 485

Date Joined: 04/02/06

Why one fish over another

Sat, 2006-06-03 20:23

Why should we value so highly one fish over another?
All have their place in the greater scheme of things!
I think the test is this Gully.
If we took the same post as you made above, and everywhere it says "sailfish" - we replace that word with "mulie", would we all still feel the same?
A fish is a fish and I do understand your sentiment exactly - because I have and do feel that way about trout - but never did about bream - yet now the breamers want to elevate the status of bream as a sportfish to that of say trout (or in this case sailfish.):Rollseyes:
But - are bream truly a sportfish? They jump and tailwalk and gill rattle like a trout or a sailfish?????

Is the "popularity of bream" undeserved? - is the species being promoted as a sporting proposition by a group or individuals with a profit motive?

For me this is always the acid test!

If I wanted to create an industry - I'd need an abundant locally availalble fish, thats relatively easey to catch!

Hey - no problem - the humble blowie fits the bill!

So suddenly I start the sportfish / skill talk, about blow fishing - and develope a $1000 blow fish rod & dedicated blow fishing boats!

Next thing you know I have a new industry and suddenly the blowfish is a "sportfish" despite the fact it's a dead cinch to catch, doesn't tailwalk, or jump or put up any sort of a halfway decent fight!

Am I not describing the now popular 'sport' (how can anyone seriously call it that) of breaming?

OK sailfish are sportfish in the true definition sense, so maybe "sportfish" should be the subject of your post - i.e. should any "sportfish" be handled for photographs!

Then we come back to the age old argument of "do we give up our right to catch fish to eat"?

Just bear in mind we are under "IFM principles" now - and if we give UP that right, (by not handling killing or eating any sportfish in our IFM quota allocation), the commercial sector have the right to claim that proportion under IFM rules in which case theres a 100% certain result they WILL be killed - not left to breed!

So - the question you ask has some very big ramifications!!.

As a true sportfish, I'd like to see all sportfish released in the manner you state, - but I'd also like the right to have a good pic of me with one for my wall one day, and if I choose - to eat his steaks on the BBQ!

Don't go asking rec anglers to give up these rights is my humble advice because the pro's (grey overcoats) are circling us looking for a free IFM feed of our share of that resource!

It MUST come back to a personal choice to keep / photograph or release or even EAT fish - or we are as good as dun for, under IFM principles - along with the fish we cherish!

All these so called enlightened attitudes discussions about catch & release achieve sometimes, is too fragment anglers into disparate groups, who can't/won't work together, to preserve our fishstocks from the longlines under the new IFM rules!

The pro's are laughing themselves all the way to the bank as they read stuff like this that divides rec anglers!

The Pro's cannot lose under the current state of play - and rec anglers frankly need to wake up! (FAST!).

So - the questions should be:-

Do we allow photo's of sportfish where they are taken from the water to photgraph?

Do we therefore give up our right to eat them,


If we do - are we happy for the pro's to kill em on a long line instead!


Given those perameters, do you still feel the same way and could / would you defend the same position as vigorously for a Mulie!

Why is it bait doesn't rate?

It's OK for pro's to net it too extinction, coz we need it to catch rec fish????

How do we defend that stance and then tell the pro's they can't touch sportfish?

Very big cans of woms these questions with far reaching consequences that anglers need to be cognizsant of, if we don't want to get sharked by the pro's on every IFM fish we catch!

My suggestion is - we DON'T abrogate our God given right to eat fish and under that right - a photo of a fish held aloft is damn fine by me, just fillet mine and pan fry lightly in flour with salt and a little lemon juice please!

When I've fully processed it, the pro's are welcome to whats left deposited right at their front door, if it'll make em any happier! ;o)

Till then best stay outta my way when it comes to catching handling photographing and filletting the odd fish!

The rest is frankly not worth talking about because to do so is making us the weak/wounded fish in the big nasty pro fish pond we call our oceans and if we as a species (recreational anglers) want to survive just like our fishstocks, then we need to get big bad and might mean pretty quick!

Sadly we seem to have the 'brokeback fishers' leading our cause at the moment and guys weilding a wet lettuce leaf don't scare the pro's much at all!

Start walking the walk and talking the talk - 3 mile exclusion zones, fisheries resource rents (Royalties) and pro's run crying to momma (WAFIC) bleating about the big bad rec fishing lobby!

Sadly our rec fishing leaders are mostly the "brokeback mountain type crocks sandle wearin type" who could do with a good dose of manhood!

Lets not all be too eager to don the cowboy hats and Crocks sandles to join them just yet huh?

I fear the pro's are eating our sorry butts for lunch under IFM because of our lack of effective leadership about now!

Going all limp wristed over fish handling catch & release methods only reinforces that image!

My 2c!


Posts: 39

Date Joined: 11/02/06

Not the issue Flywest

Mon, 2006-06-05 22:09

I think you have missed the point maaaate . I agree totally with eating what you catch but why let something go if you have caused massive internal injuries hauling it over the gunwale just to get a pic. Sure the beast may revive and swim away apparently healthy but maybe the damage has been done and ...... . I know if some of you punters did that to me I may find the energy and stoicism to disappear when released but with broken ribs and damaged internals I would probably not last too long afterwards.
If you fish only to brag to your mates with photos well ... are you really that dedicated to the cause .
As for mulies welllll something that has a very short life cycle is very different to a fish that takes many many years to reach trophy size ie. marlin,bream,bluefin tuna, big sharks , cod etc (don`t know about trout introduced problem that they are ) Whereas your blowies , mulies ,whiting,mahi mahi etc are all fast growing species that reproduce rapidly and reach maturity in a similar fashion.
Remember the old food chain pyramid , there is only room enough for so many predators at the top , these fish are the lions and tigers of the ocean and the rest are wildebeest and other antelope .Work the rest out for yourselves.

Gully's picture

Posts: 963

Date Joined: 04/10/05

Thats right

Tue, 2006-06-06 10:18

Not having a go at people for taking home billfish etc to eat, thats their choice but as stated they are a big fish and it is hard to bring them onboard without damaging them somehow as Bags stated. Smaller sportfish are in a different ballpark as they can be handled and lifted onboard easily, billfish however (same goes for other large fish such as tuna etc) on the whole can not.

A very small sail or marlin I might be tempted to bring onboard for a photo but only if I was sure it could be done without causing any harm to the fish.

Remember this is just my opinion and I am not having a go at anyone just my views accross for people to think about

Ewan's picture

Posts: 271

Date Joined: 15/05/06

Sport is very different to Food!

Wed, 2006-06-07 13:52

Remember that we are not catching these fish (you all know the ones I mean! Your typical sportfish like sails/marlin) for food!! We are catching them for fun, not as a resource...of course now we might have to delve into the ethics of catching fish, putting them through pain (arguably...very arguably!!) etc etc all for the sake of some points, or thrills, or photos...

But my point is that after exhausting a large, very high energy fish that requires constant water flow through its gills to supply oxygen for its pretty spectacular efforts...I'm pretty sure that pulling it out of the water, into what it almost invariably a pretty hot environment that lacks, um, liquid a bad thing indeed. I'm not intentionally trying to make this emotive but...imagine running around as hard as you can against a long bit of jelly rubber or something for 30 mins, whilst trying to do a few, lets say 5 High Jumps, then being picked up by your head and held under water for 30 would be rooted!! And you are fully warm-blooded! Maybe if you were just let go you'd be better?

Then of course we are hoiking them up by their bills, which, lets not forget, are NOT weight-bearing apparatus, over the edge of a boat, with its associated rod holders, bollards, various screws and nick nacks to scratch and bruise them. In my experience when a fish like these comes to the boat, there can often be a bit of choas going on, and in many of the photos you see of people holding billies up you can pretty much infer the chaos! Grab that bill and get it into the boat as quick as you can!! Whoa, that 4-7ft long fish is rather akward and slippery and heavy!! Oh no! You lost your grip and it hit the deck! Well half of it did, so it's bent in two while you get a better, harder grip on it! Now lets get it back in the water, swim it until it kicks and let it drift the waiting jaws...

It doesnt matter about classifications of sport fish, nor is it about the fishing industry in the larger sense (I'm with you Flywest - Pro-netting mulies or anything else for bait is crap! Use lures or catch your own!), it is about RESPECT for these fish and giving them the best chance of survival if we are not going to eat them. Check out the photos in Gullys lot - you cant tell me they aren't good pics of the marlin or sail! No fish were harmed in the making of them...if you really need your mug in the shot, jump in or bend over the gunnel to stick it in the shot, take the shot from the bow of the boat, or the stern, or stand up on the gunnel or a chair to get a wider shot- use your imagination!

Posts: 485

Date Joined: 04/02/06

Maybe It wasn't clear!

Wed, 2006-06-07 16:44

Maybe I was ambiguous due to the length of the post!

If you give up your right to eat (Lets not mince words - kill!) a sportfish (or by extension haul it in and photgraph it), THEN - you are giving up your right to catch & release them!

Ohh yes - Catch and release figures won't count towards our rec quota under IFM - only the ones we keep (KILL), count.


We don't kill it and under IFM rules that quota goes to Pro's who will definiterly kill it!

Once we have no quota left coz like idiots we gave it away by not using it - we will have to BUY a portion of the quota back to be allowed to "sportfish" (catch & release) for them!!!!!!.

IFM doesn't handle catch & release sport fishing at all well and in fact penalises the recreational angler under existing quota allocation rules / practices.

I have advocated strictly catch & release for years (All my statistics for Fisheries returns for years have been 99% c & r!).

The sentiments about preserving a valuable sportfish are laudible and I support them.

Facts are - we are in a new game where the rules have been deliberately rigged to benefit the pro's and disown us of the right to recreational fish in a responsible manner period.

Our choice is this!

1. Give up responsible fishing methods, and fully utilise our quota under the new IFM rules - and try to take any quota we can off the pro's, that they don't utilise!!!

2. Give up fishing altogether, because the pro's will take those fish off us and we will have to BUY those fish back (i.e pay the pro's to stay home and NOT catch fish) if we want to get back the right to fish which we so willingly gave up!

We didn't invent IFM, this is the model Fisheries managers in their wisdom have stuffed down our throats!

It requires a new set of rules!

As yourself this question...

Why would a 100% Catch & Release Charter Fisher like me, be advocating catch & kill if the goal posts haven't been surreptitiously shifted by the pro's and if recreational fishing wasn't under direct attack as a result?

Our (Rec Fishers) environmental concerns, are deliberately being used against us by the pros, to end our sport and give more fish (more$) to the pro's!

They have a fiscal incentive to achieve this outcome!!.

The ONLY way we can fight back is:-

1. Take our entire quota each year and try to get more off the pro's.

2. Press for "spatial separation" (3 Mile from shore Pro Fishing ban) under safety concerns after the cray boat ran down and killed the kid fishing off Busselton!

3. Press for 'resource rents' (Royalties) off the pro's catch for managing rec finfishing stocks & research!

We do not HAVE to bend over, grab our ankles, grease our hairy butts and take it like Brokeback Cowboys from the pro's!
We ARE allowed to fight back!

Under the current 'stacked rules' of the IFM process, we need to become as ruthless as the pro's or give the sport away!

There is no in between!

If you now espouse Catch & Release, under the new IFM rules - your signing the death warrant for rec fishing - you've effectively joined the pro's and become the enemy!

That is what they want!

I say screw the pro's and fight back.

Kill & Keep our Quota, and take their quota, and press for 3 mile bans and resource rents!

It'd be real nice to see the pro's with their hands on their ankles for a change!
Heck - I'll even supply the vaseline!!!

(In effect I just have - I've given you the answer to the dilemma or the recipe to beat the pro's at their own game!!).

Under the new IFM rules - catch & release fishing/angling is for the pansy Brokeback anglers!


Yep, once upon a time C & R was the right thing to do, - but now it's suicide for rec angling if we stick with it!

We need to wake up and change our ways fast if rec angling is too survive under IFM rules!

I don't want to be BUYING the right to catch and release a fish so some pro can get paid to sit on his azz at home and NOT catch it because we willingly GAVE AWAY our right to catch fish to the pro!

Wake the F up guys, before it's too late! Your being played for patsies by the pro's and $ is their motivation! Your hearts are in the right place - but your heads are so far up your own proverbial hairy butts, that you can't see the sun shining! ;o) (Metaphorically speaking of course!) LOL

Look - you cannot just ignore IFM and hope it goes away and say "it doesn't affect me - I'll just keep doing what I've always done!"

When you have no quota left, and Fisheries dudes WILL tell you, that you can't go to sea and catch fish!!

Clue for you - It's too fricken late to suddenly wake up then!

That is squarely where we are headed!

Make no mistake - get a hold of the rock lobster IFM booklets / download the PDF's from Fisheries Website - read the stuff - try and understand it!

If you see whats gonna happen to the crays (You'll be allowed 1 size cray every second day!!!)...

Apply that across the board to every other recreational finfish/sportfish species!

That is what we are facing! We can only change that by modifyng our practices, to protect our quota! I hate the idea, but I didn't foist IFM principles on us - Fisheries WA and the pro's did!

What worries me is a LOT of the leading lights in rec Fishing circles said before it was introduced, that IFM would be the best thing ever for rec fishing, but how it has turned out once the actual documents have been released show that we as rec anglers have beeen asleep at the wheel and had the wool well and truly pulled over our eyes by the Pros and Fisheries Dept!

It's not too late to fix it - but no one seems to give a damn!

It's the 3rd Millenium people and we need a new approach!


Posts: 39

Date Joined: 11/02/06

Wake up Flywest

Wed, 2006-06-07 20:36

Sorry Maaaaaaaate
But I understand that it is totally illegal for marlin to be landed by commercial fishermen in Australia ?? if not correct let me know.
Tuna etc are a different story but I do believe we are talking about gamefish here.(sure tuna included which are not as long lived )
And sure longliners may kill plenty that they don`t land but for Fck.ssake if you can compare a lobster to a marlin (food v sport ) you are on a planet that I haven`t had the opp of dwelling and I have certainly eaten both species with some gusto . Quotas for what? , are you prattling on about non-sport food species I think which is another issue altogether than what this thread started from which was pisspoor handling of fish to be released by punters that should know better . If it is going to die from your actions then for Neptunes sake eat it.
It Might blow your possession limits out the window boys but...
Sorry not trying to incite anything but perhaps we all need to grow up and realise the consequences of our actions and Adam if some chance of survival due to a photo is better than none due to taxidermy we as a sporting population have come nowhere since Hemingway and Grey and the days of hang em and weigh em. If you need to prove to your mates that yours was bigger than theirs by a photo go get some surgery!!!!!!!! Dicks are dicks.
Anyway my opinions only

jay_burgess's picture

Posts: 4648

Date Joined: 18/08/05

ahh please... no arguments

Wed, 2006-06-07 20:48

ahh please... no arguments :)

Posts: 39

Date Joined: 11/02/06

On another note

Wed, 2006-06-07 20:50

All you Fishwrecked punters that jig with Al Bevan et al . How do they handle big sambos ???? Aren`t they weighed in slings etc etc .

Posts: 39

Date Joined: 11/02/06


Wed, 2006-06-07 20:56

Sorry Jay just saw your post.
I do not consider intelligent debate to be an argument . Facts speak for themselves , personal barbs and derogatory comments are reserved for those lacking in factual information to support their argument.

jay_burgess's picture

Posts: 4648

Date Joined: 18/08/05

Facts speak for themselves

Wed, 2006-06-07 21:27

they sure do Baglimitboy, I hope everyone considers these :)

Kasey L.'s picture

Posts: 1390

Date Joined: 02/03/06

They have a landing area

Wed, 2006-06-07 23:33

They have a landing area that is about level with the water, making it unnecessary to drag fish over rails etc (marlin deck?).

Haven't tried, but I think barbed assist hooks aren't really tolerated. ;)

Most aren't weighed, from personal recollection, but for the big-uns, I think thats what they do.

Mav could probably give you a more recent answer, considering he's slowly evolving into North Star II's other permanent resident. =) (Only because I'm jealous =[)

Adam Gallash's picture

Posts: 15492

Date Joined: 29/11/05

Intelligent Discussion

Thu, 2006-06-08 09:27

Yep, great subject and discussion, lets keep it constructive and remark about opinions on the topic rather than personalities offtopic.

Adam if some chance of survival due to a photo is better than none due to taxidermy we as a sporting population have come nowhere since Hemingway and Grey and the days of hang em and weigh em.

Where have we come since Hemingway and Grey Bags? What movements foward have we made?

If you need to prove to your mates that yours was bigger than theirs by a photo go get some surgery.

That's not the reason why I would be taking a photo, it would be for remembering the moment.


Site Admin - Just ask if you need assistance

Maverick's picture

Posts: 1215

Date Joined: 06/06/06

I wish

Thu, 2006-06-08 10:26

KC I wish I could be Number 2 but only help Al out when I have no work on , being winter my work load has halved so I help out when ever I can, I have learnt A HEAP since helping out ( being the slave labour more like it ) but am enjoying life on the wet deck .

As for the fish we catch , Sambo's etc on jigs they come on the back wet deck we cover their eye with a wet glove or wet cloth , get pinned with a tag , sexed and measured then speared in to help get them down a few metres , NO JIGS have barbed hooks if you can't keep tension on your line while fishin' then you need to learn how to fish.

If the fish floats then we pick it up out of the water and keep it on the wet deck with it's eyes covered and run the deck hose thru their mouth to help revive them , as soon as they stark kicking etc we then release then again to swim away , we have only had to "neck" a few fish that have not been able to release even after the deck hose in the 3 years I have been fishing off NS2( probably 20 or more trips), and even then they are processed ,the filets to be eaten and the frames to the uni guys.

Smoked Sambo is to die for .

Only fish that get killed is for eating or scientific research then they are humanely dispatched with an iki jimy spike to the brain and then straight onto ice or a couple of gills snipped to help bleed the fish that need bleeding to help with their eating quality .

I am glad to answer any question that I'm able to , but I cannot speak for Al or his boat , if you have a question for him ask him he's very aproachable and may even answer your question(s) .




 OFW member 088 

 Sponsored by no one and I work for myself so my comments are my own.

Ewan's picture

Posts: 271

Date Joined: 15/05/06

So we should Kill more to save more?

Thu, 2006-06-08 12:55

I dont get it Flywest - are you saying that we need to protect our rights by killing more fish to be able to quote numbers to the management authorities so that they dont let the Pros kill as many? I must admit that I dont know the details about the IFM system (I'd like to know more - where/how do I find out?) but I assume that it says something like:

Quota of total numbers caught = Pro catches + Rec catches

Therefore we as Rec fishers need to catch more to protect our rights?

I think this is rubbish.

1. In the face of habitat destruction, nutrification, coastal developments, pollution spills and climate change (causing coral bleaching, etc) the marine environment in general (and specific to this forum post, fish) is under extreme pressure. It could maybe possibly resist this pressure through ecological elasticity (though I dont think so), if all the inter-species linkages and population structures that naturally exist in marine communities were to remain intact. Ecological elasticity (I think that is the right term? cant remember) is the ability of ecosystems to rebound/maintain their integrity after disturbances.

2. Enter the human population. Apart from a rare few examples, such as the WA Rock Lobster fishery where we can protect major spawning grounds from which larvae are dispersed, NO PROFESSIONAL FISHERY IS SUSTAINABLE. Fish stocks are WILD which means they were in balance before machinery and technology came into the equation. Population/size structures are radically changed, reducing reproductive ability, ecological linkages are destroyed by reducing numbers of top-predators, or reducing numbers of baitfish like mulies, and so these systems crumble. These are not my ramblings, we should all know of many examples in other parts of the world especially, but also here (Southern Bluefin, Orange Roughy etc).

3. On a smaller scale now, enter the Recreational Fishers. I am 26. In my lifetime, I remember accompanying Dad going out in the boat off Bunbury and regularly (as in pretty much every time) catching 1-4 dhufish, armed only with a 14ft tinny, compass, black and white paper sounder and handlines. Then we started to catch less fish, so we went up to an 18ft. Then a 20ft. Then a GPS. Then a colour sounder. Now we hear of Rec fishers finding a school, catching a bag limit, going out the next day, repeat, repeat, repeat. Nowadays Dad catches a dhuie maybe every couple of weeks, fishing 10-20 mile out. He has been fishing these waters for 30 years, every day he can and is the best fisherman I know. The fellas who regularly catch numbers of fish now are going out OVER 45 NAUTICAL MILES OUT TO SEA. Yes the Pros are very much responsible too, netters and wetliners. But now it is common to see 5 - 10 Rec boats within a couple of miles of each other (i.e. on the same patch of reef) when before GPS we would be spread out cos we didnt really know where we were!

So Flywest (and others) I would suggest a more effective approach, to use your obvious passion and energy to lobby for MORE, yes MORE Sanctuary Areas (proven as effective), season closures at spawning times, gear restrictions, etc, etc for both Rec and Pro fishers. That is if we want Australia to stay as one of the last bastions of excellent natural resources ON OUR ONE AND ONLY PLANET, and so our generations to come can catch and release a Marlin off Exmouth, without pulling it out of the water for the photo.

I cannot for the life of me understand how killing more helps our cause. Catch what you need, DONT go up north just to fill the freezer, release fish you dont want to eat with as little damage as possible, as Mav and Bags have explained. Exactly what right do we have to kill/excessively damage fish (or anything else) for photos Flywest? Is it written anywhere? Cos I certainly dont think it exists.

Ewan's picture

Posts: 271

Date Joined: 15/05/06


Thu, 2006-06-08 12:58

Readers may notice that I didnt need to call anyone 'un-manly' (what ever that means) or gay (if you think that is some kind of insult) to get my point across.
Oh yeah, my points are not Greenie rubbish as I expect some may feel. They are REAL and IT IS HAPPENING.

Posts: 485

Date Joined: 04/02/06

It's a good discussion!

Thu, 2006-06-08 13:30

We shouldn't stifle good discussion and I'de be the last to deny anyone the right to express an opinion (seeing I have a habit of expressing mine pretty vociferouslly!).


Sorry Maaaaaaaate
But I understand that it is totally illegal for marlin to be landed by commercial fishermen in Australia ?? if not correct let me know.

Both Right and Wrong at the same time!

It's only Western Australia that it's illegal to land some Billfish I believe they can still land broadbill + tuna in WA, but not Marlin and sails!.

For exanmple striped marlin blacks and blues get landed off bermagui all the time - but recs have been campaigning against it for years. I recall leading a campaign on Sportfish website some years back where we got TV coverage by threatening to bouycott the supermakets where they sell marlin steaks with our boats and trailers of a Sat Morning in a protest designed to keep all shoppers out of the supermarkets!!!

I wrote to the seafood buyers for Coles and Woolworths and managed to get them to STOP buying the Marlin steaks they were advertising, but the wholesalers just exported them, so we didn't really gain a lot in reality!

(My point being - probably I've done as much as anyone else here to try and protect Marlin / Billfish from the pro longlines!).

What happens is - the big longliners still catch the Marlin and sails etc in WA Waters - they just keep them in their blast freezer holds till they sail into Darwin or South Australia where they ARE still legally allowed to unload (as best as I know!).

Also some of them offload to processing ships at sea that transport them east!

So - the successes that Stagles et al had with regard to getting the landing of Marlin in WA stopped - did have some effect but no where near as much as Rec anglers would havve liked.

My coments about rec quota have to do with "all finfish" under IFM principles. To believe that the pro's won't go after any billfish quota we don't use is sheer nonsense!

Whatever we release is open for them to claim!

Wrong as that may be, in terms of conservation of the species - this is the model that IFM (Integrated Fisheries Management) employs.

The only instance so far where we have seen IFM employed is with rock lobster, which is why I urge you all to look at it.

Just change the words rock lobster to Marlin, and this is how the Marlin Fishery in WA will be managed.

You need to remember that a lot of the longline licenses are federal issued and operate outside the jurisdiction of WA state waters!

Basically under IFM we are screwed if we practice catch & release!

This hasn't come up yet under the rock lobster IFM process - beause as best I know - no one catches crays for fun to let them go again!

Every fish we let go is basically consigned to a pro-quota that will see it dead on some longline under the IFM rules.

We need to change the IFM rules.

If Fisheries realise that rec anglers are going to abandon C&R in order to protect their Quota's from the pro's under IFM - then just MAYBE they will alter the existing IFM rules so that C & R Fish ARE counted in our quota!

That simple change IMHO would see up able to continue with C & R!

I know people are angry about what I'm posting!

I am only telling you what the new rules will be and what will happen if they aren't changed or we don't change our ways! I didn't write the new rules, so don't get pizzed at me! I am just the bearer of the bad news!

As I said - no one here has done more than me personally to try and save the Marlin - I still have the emails from Coles & Woolworths saying they won't buy Marlin steaks anymore!

I've been a 100% C & R Advocate for many many years!

If I am saying we need to do something different quickly - then trust me we do need to do something!

Changing the IFM rules with regard to C&R fish as far as quota's go is the obvious thing!

Who has requested Fisheries to do that in writing?

Who is likely too, with the current Rock Lobster IFM process?
Answer - no one - coz no one throws legal crays back!

So - if the Lobster IFM model becomes the test case / precedent one, and is used for Billfish - then everything I've said is what will happen!

We need to change that damn fast!

It's good that people are angry about it - they have a damned good right to be!

So - who wants to write to Fisheries and the Papers about it?

How do we get the IFM rules chaged to take accountof C & R????

How bout some positive constructive criticism!


Andy Mac's picture

Posts: 4779

Date Joined: 03/02/06

Well done Ewan

Thu, 2006-06-08 13:45

A good post, right on the money.

Like everyone on here I want to protect my right to catch fish, and get a little cheezed off by the slaughter (often unintended) that goes on in some commercial fishing operations. However I;ll be buggered if I am going to go out and kill for the sake of a statistic that may or may not help to balance the pro/rec ledger. Goes against my principles I'm afraid.

If you love em, let em go, and if you really really really love em, then eat em. Either way respect the fish (release quickly and as carefully as you can or dispatch them as quickly and as carefully as you can.)

Don't know where they get their statistics from for quotas as I've only ever been asked for a creel survey once or twice in 30 years of fishing.


Andy Mac



Andy Mac (Fishwrecked Reeltime Editor & Forum Moderator)

Youngest member of the Fishwrecked Old Farts Club

Walky's picture

Posts: 95

Date Joined: 25/07/05

Marlin landings in Australia

Thu, 2006-06-08 14:59

The following article clarifies this issue a little, basically the landing of Blue and Black marlin by commercials is banned Australia wide whilst Striped Marlin are only banned in WA . I believe no regulations exist on Broadbill which is ridiculous as they tend to be local populations rather than migratory pelagics . I believe the longliners have basically wiped out the Broadies from the seamounts off Perth already.

Report says striped marlin should be rec only

A lax attitude from politicians and their failure to heed expert advice are among the greatest threats to our fish stocks. Take the valuable striped marlin in Australia, for example.

While fishing regulations prevent commercial fishers from keeping blue and black marlin in Australian waters, the striped marlin has become an unfortunate target in recent years. In fact, the current commercial take of striped marlin from the Australian Fishing Zone - which starts just three nautical miles off our coast - is about 600 tonnes or more than 10,000 fish a year, and climbing.

Longliners using live baits on known marlin grounds underscore the fact that the fish has gone from being bycatch to a prized scalp.

Currently the cornerstone of game and charter fisheries along the east coast, striped marlin is the only billfish that anglers can reliably expect to catch almost year-round. But for how much longer?

Without any commercial fishing controls in place there is a very real danger of overexploitation of striped marlin stocks. The economic argument for letting the longliners fish for striped marlin doesn't hold water.

The value of the recreational striped marlin fishery in New South Wales is said to be worth as much as 27 times more than the commercial sector. As such, there is a strong case for a ban on commercial fishers landing striped marlin in NSW.

The NSW Fisheries Minister, Ian Macdonald, has a new report to hand funded by the recreational fishing licence and compiled by Ernst and Young that BlueWater believes backs a ban on commercial marlin fishing in the state.

BlueWater has it on good authority that the report, entitled Economic Impact of the NSW Striped Marlin Fishery, supports the view that the striped marlin should be made a recreational-only fish in NSW waters.

Accordingly, we believe the NSW Fisheries Minister should release the report, ban the landing of striped marlin on NSW longliners, ban the fish from the docks and stop the sale of marlin steaks, which are dangerously high in mercury anyway.

Instead, after three months of navel-gazing, Mr Macdonald was still sitting on the report. We can only guess he has a fear of fuelling the fire in recreational anglers. Or should that be commercial fishers. Macdonald is himself a primary producer.

BlueWater asked the minister why he was sitting on the report and when he would release it. A spokesperson for his department took our questions, but no one got back to us. We chased a response. Our calls were not answered. This, it seems, is how government works these days.

At the time of writing we knew that at least one concerned gamefisher had applied to see the report under the Freedom of Information Act, so stay tuned for the report to be aired in these pages.

Meantime, the only Australian state where longliners are banned from landing striped marlin is Western Australia. Interestingly, a commercial fisher, Radar Holdings, who held a Commonwealth longline licence entitling him to take striped marlin, recently challenged that state law.

In what is an interesting case of constitutional law, the court ruled that Commonwealth fishing entitlements don't override state fisheries legislation. The judgement said there was an operational inconsistency but that the State Act is valid insofar as it applies to fish after they have been landed.

BlueWater had heard that the Australian Fish Management Authority (AFMA) might try to legislate over the states. But for now, a ban on commercial fishing for striped marlin stands in WA. A ban in NSW would go along way to putting a halt to the harvesting on the Australian east coast.

Recreational anglers release more than 95 per cent of all marlin caught, and most gamefishing clubs impose minimum sizes at which their marlin can be weighed. The future health of the precious marlin fishery lies in state and, ultimately, Commonwealth protection. Politicians need to act. - David Lockwood

FOOTNOTE: This writer has heard that certain Australian gamefishing administrators are negotiating with AFMA to have longliners banned from fishing for striped marlin inside 1000 fathoms. At the same time, gamefishers would be banned from fishing beyond 1000 fathoms.

We feel any such proposal is unacceptable, unenforceable and short-sighted. Only yesterday, the 100-fathom line seemed like a long way. Nowadays, we think nothing of fishing in 500 fathoms. Before long, 1000 fathoms will be a regular run and new sea mountains will be the focus.

Nothing but a ban on taking striped marlin is acceptable to Australian anglers.

Share your views with the Honourable Ian Macdonald MLC, Minister for Primary Industries in NSW: tel (02) 9228 3344, fax (02) 9228 3452 or email .

Posts: 39

Date Joined: 11/02/06

Where have we come

Thu, 2006-06-08 17:09

Where have we come since Hemingway and Grey Bags? What movements foward have we made.
In answer to this question the simple answer is that unlike in their day when catch and release was unheard of we as sporting fishermen today no longer see the need to kill every fish we catch and a successful day out is not measured by the number of fish hanging from the gantry. There are also now many catch and release only tournaments around the world which also would have been very foreign to these guys . So basically I think that from a gamefishing point of view we have really evolved , unfortunately this has not helped many fish stocks due to the worlds population increases and subsequent demand for fish as well as habitat degradation and many other issues.
I trust that this answers your question.
With regard to your second comment I am sure that there are other ways of remembering ``the moment``without subjecting a majestic fish to life threatening injuries -- footage of the fight perhaps etc etc.

Posts: 22

Date Joined: 22/11/05

good post ewen

Thu, 2006-06-08 19:11

3. On a smaller scale now, enter the Recreational Fishers. I am 26. In my lifetime, I remember accompanying Dad going out in the boat off Bunbury and regularly (as in pretty much every time) catching 1-4 dhufish, armed only with a 14ft tinny, compass, black and white paper sounder and handlines. Then we started to catch less fish, so we went up to an 18ft. Then a 20ft. Then a GPS. Then a colour sounder. Now we hear of Rec fishers finding a school, catching a bag limit, going out the next day, repeat, repeat, repeat. Nowadays Dad catches a dhuie maybe every couple of weeks, fishing 10-20 mile out. He has been fishing these waters for 30 years, every day he can and is the best fisherman I know. The fellas who regularly catch numbers of fish now are going out OVER 45 NAUTICAL MILES OUT TO SEA. Yes the Pros are very much responsible too, netters and wetliners. But now it is common to see 5 - 10 Rec boats within a couple of miles of each other (i.e. on the same patch of reef) when before GPS we would be spread out cos we didnt really know where we were!

So Flywest (and others) I would suggest a more effective approach, to use your obvious passion and energy to lobby for MORE, yes MORE Sanctuary Areas (proven as effective), season closures at spawning times, gear restrictions, etc, etc for both Rec and Pro fishers. That is if we want Australia to stay as one of the last bastions of excellent natural resources ON OUR ONE AND ONLY PLANET, and so our generations to come can catch and release a Marlin off Exmouth, without pulling it out of the water for the photo.

Not commenting on these issues anymore, I am leaving too the experts, but just had too reply to Ewen, good too see someone else isnt blind sided.Ewen travelling further and further off shore too catch a fish is called serial depletion, Sad hey,makes ya wonder what the next generation are going too be left with, Just hope the experts get it right and stop too think that their/our rights arent worth nothing with no fish


Posts: 485

Date Joined: 04/02/06

Are we prepared to buy em back?

Thu, 2006-06-08 20:55

Wallys statement is quite profound in it's scope!

Just hope the experts get it right and stop too think that their/our rights arent worth nothing with no fish

The whole thrust of my controversial IFM posts are, that if we willingly give up our rights to kill fish then the pro's will take that quota from us under existing IFM allocation rules - any unused quota is up for reallocation to the other sector!


1. if the fish all die out from overfishing & environmental change - then no one gets any!

2. If we don't take our quota the pro's get them & kill em!

3. If we let 1 or 2 happen we have no fish to catch & release

4. If we just let 2 happen, then we have to BUY that allocation back in order to be able to catch & release and because we don't kill it - it gets reallocated back to the pro's, and we have to buy it again and again and again, only to let it go - purely because we don't keep any!!!

Is anyone, besides me, catching on yet?

Unless we change the IFM rules on reallocation with regard to C & R we are screwing ourselves and the pro's are laughing all the way to the bank!

Look - I'm a Fisheries consultant for cryin out loud, with a 10 year background in environment, a scientific paper published in my name etc, I've fished with Srtarlo & Buschy & Morsie et al - and trapped animals with Harry Butler - please don't lecture me about coral bleaching or serial depletions or overfishing etc - no matter how well intentioned!.

Take the hint about IFM and act on it now - I could always wait - til you've squandered your allocation, to the pro's for nothing and you have to pay me to tell you how to get out of the fix your in as a consultant!

Just take a good look at IFM reallocation rules with regard to catch & release, and fix the loophole thats going to deprive you of your right to catch & release.

You've been fed a flawed management tool by professional fishers and Fishery managers, in IFM - that will have huge costs to you all as rec anglers.

You need to do something about it now, BEFORE it gains credibility within scientific circles as a good management tool and becomes impossible to change!

The time to act to change it is NOW...or what Wally is saying, might well occur and not for the environmental reasons he states, but from legislative bans for rec angling - no resource allocation = no fishing, not even C & R!!!

I can't belive you guys are in favor of giving away your fishing rights for free then buying back that very same resource allocation for REAL $ from the very people you willingly gave them away to for free!

It just don't add up - rec fishing is already expensive enough to make viaility of it's coninued existence questionable!

This is definitely NOT a Cute n Cuddly animal welfare isssue! (As the beautiful marlin debate surely is!) If you don't feel the same way about a toadfish, then scientifically your argument doesn't hold water (is not valid)!

Everyone wants to save Koala, but who cares about the cockroach?

Same with marlin - just a fad,and not a very good one at that - they are just a fish - and have the same intrinsic biological value as a toadfish in scientific terms. Yep they are a indicator species - at the top of the food chain - whoopee!

They are just another species of fish people - get over it!
To the pro's they are just $ in the bank!
You need to start becomming rational about this!

The emotive allure of Marlin is well and good - but lets get past the emotion and down to the business at hand - saving your right to fish for them, coz thats what IFM is all aout and theres agroup out there with a vested interest $ in depriving you of as much (all) of your share (quota) as they possibly can!

You need to wake up damn fast in order to be able to deal with the REAL threat and that threat applies in every single species of finfish (and crustaceans!).

You are going to be fighting this battle over and over and over again with sambo's salmon pinkies dufish etc etc etc

Pick aspecies - any species and you are goingto be locked ionto this same battle with the pro's!

If the rules are so heavily stacked against you - then sooner or later - your going to get sick of getting ya lights punched out every time you step into the ring for the good cause!

In case it hsn't dawned yet - you can't rely on the ump to call time out - coz the unps already been bought - he is the one (Fisheries) who gave us IFM with the stacked reallocation rules with regard to C & R

I still wonder of the lights are on, but no ones home sometimes in Rec Fishing circles!

The valifdity or otherwise of c & r was an issue hotly debated 20 years ago, it's been well n truly settled all around the world, long before now. IFM is where your attentions should be right now!

Theres a 3 egg cup trick with a pea going on in front of your eyes, and the Pea is your right to fish in the future - and it's about to go up the pro's sleeve never to be seen again and you still have your eyes on the empty eggshell - mesmerised.

Wake up people please, before it is too late!

Striped / Blue Black or broadbill - it don't matter, it's a bigger issue than that IFM will apply to every species of finfish (and crustaceans).


Posts: 485

Date Joined: 04/02/06

Charter Boats

Thu, 2006-06-08 21:05

Quick one.
Charter boats are a conundrum.
Under the new IFM rules the quota allocation to charter boats comes out of the rec fishing quot not the pro quota!
Thats because the anglers are recreational fisherpeople!
The charter boat may well go out every day but without rec anglers on board, it wouldn't, and it's rec anglers harvesting the fish!
Fisheries management treat the catch allocation for Charter Boats as part of the recreational catch quota period!
Right or wrong, that is what they do!

Andy Mac's picture

Posts: 4779

Date Joined: 03/02/06


Thu, 2006-06-08 21:14

So where do all the stats for the quota allocation come from? It would be easy to get the professionals catch data but how the hell statistically do they ascertain what was caught and released with any reliability. If they are using charter boat catch rates as their representative data of the wider rec fisher quota allocation then I think the numbers would be skewed significantly.


Andy Mac



Andy Mac (Fishwrecked Reeltime Editor & Forum Moderator)

Youngest member of the Fishwrecked Old Farts Club

Posts: 485

Date Joined: 04/02/06

I would think

Thu, 2006-06-08 22:42

I would think there are other sources of stats!

For example the Gamex results for 2006.

Any fishing comp over 50 members has to be registered with Fisheries WA and must priovide Catch for effort statistics to Fisheries etc!

Also - creel surveys - the ladies in Red T shirts at the ramps collecting catch statistics?

Sadly - not many game boats pull up at boat ramps these days - and ladies in red T shorts can't get onto the jetties at yacht clubs (but if they lost the T shirts and went au naturel - we mifht make an exception and leave the gates open! ;o)

Tis a good point - very hard for us to arggue our share of the catch without data to back it up!

Fisheries conduct creel surveys by telephone for the rock lobster license holders!

Even given that they did this and had figures as a result - if you saw the dismal 4% or 7% of the available resource allocated to rec fishers - you realise were being totally screwed with IFM.

IFM is a something we will all come to despise very quickly unless it is changed and changed quickly!

Every sacrifice we have made in bag limits etc in past reviews is being used against us now to justify ever smaller allocatons of % of available resource as our Quota!

We have been played for patsies for too long!


Maverick's picture

Posts: 1215

Date Joined: 06/06/06

Charter boats

Fri, 2006-06-09 02:16

Well I know that when charters come in from a day out EVERY fish is measured and entered into a book for fisheries (I think 4 fisheries) but I do know every fish is accounted for , and your right it's rec anglers catching all the fish ,

actually they would be helping to keep the quota's up for all the C&R guys throwing fish back (wink wink)

I was talking to a uni boy the other day and he said the biggest saving grace for our fish is the weather , if we had more good weather then we would be in even more shit from everyone getting out more and out deeper .

I can tell you right now that NO charter goes out every day , they would be lucky to average 3 days a week for the year I recon ( especially the Perth and south west based boats).




 OFW member 088 

 Sponsored by no one and I work for myself so my comments are my own.

Ewan's picture

Posts: 271

Date Joined: 15/05/06

How does it matter WHO catches them?

Fri, 2006-06-09 12:36

I understand your point more now Flywest - it is a good one and I am with you (except for the one about Rec fishers' 'need' to take/kill fish in order to preserve our rights to catch them under the IFM policy). This system is clearly not working, and is fundamentally flawed, as I mentioned earlier, the system was sustainable and in equilibrium BEFORE we started filling our freezers (Rec fishers) and selling fish to people who dont catch it themselves (Commercial fishing).

But...I'll simplify it more to clarify my point, with a metaphor.

Mum throws a big bucket of lollies on the ground, for her two kids, one big, one small. They both start to grab at the lollies, obviously the big kid can grab more, and faster. So the little kid complains to Mum about it
"Muuuum, big brother taking more than me, snot fair! Tell him to stop!!"
The big kid defends himself. Being older he is more eloquent and forceful in his delivery.
"But Mum, I am older and bigger, I deserve more! Think of all the things I do around the house for you! You have to let me have more or I will stop doing my chores!"
Meanwhile they continue grabbing the lollies. They are running out fast and the fight gets more heated. Both kids have to start fighting and arguing harder as the lollies disappear.
By the time Mum has thought about it enough and made a decision, there are only a few lollies left, so she decides to take them herself and put them away in case someone in the future can figure out the recipe to make some more. Both kids realised that they should have just eaten one or two today and come back for another one tomorrow. Mum should just have given them one each in the first place. Bloody spoilt kids!

GET IT? Its a waste of time squabbling over who has the rights to catch an unsustainable quota!

In 1991 I went on a charter boat (I won the trip in a fishing comp with a 21kg Blue Groper!) off Exmouth - The Reel Affair. There were about 10 punters, 3 or 4 were fishers, 3 or 4 had no idea and then there was me and Dad. Pretty spectacular fishing, all kinds of reef fish, big and small, classic Ningaloo stuff. As soon as someone got a fish to the boat, a deckie came and grabbed it, off the line and into a lug (one for each person) on the deck, in FULL SUN. No Ike Jime, no bleeding, no ice. And they took EVERY fish, large or small, undersize or not, good eating or not. After the first spot, me and Dad saw what was going on and went up the bow of the boat so we could let our own fish go if we didnt want it. At the end of the day they filleted the fish and gave us a big plastic bag of mixed up fillets. It was just butchering, horrible.
In 2002(ish) I went on the same charter, same boat with a mate who won the same prize, 10 or so years later. I caught ONE legal size spangled emperor, and he got nothing that was keepable. I dont know about you charter boys who have been posting here, but it was pretty obvious to me what had happened there - fishery RAPE.

NO ONE has the right to pay money for a natural resource like wild fish - if you cant catch it, it is not yours. IT IS NOT YOUR RIGHT. In the old way of thinking, the Biblical way if you like, it was that 'God' made the earth for our exploitation. Can anyone explain to me if that philosophy appears to be working well for us and the planet in general? If you think so, you are an idiot and a fool. And I am prepared to back that up! I'm pretty sure most of the people here are smarter than that.
If it is farmed, that is a much different story (yeah I know about the problems with aquaculture too - perhaps we should be investing in figuring them out though huh?).

We have gone past Gullys original point, but it still remains - we should RESPECT fish and everything else out there, from the larger scale of environmental management to the smaller scale of not damaging the ones we dont eat.

Does anyone out there think that fishing is as good (for either Pro or Rec fishers) as it was ONLY 15 years ago?

Posts: 485

Date Joined: 04/02/06

Hard to argue

Fri, 2006-06-09 20:00

Hard to argue wth your logic!
And anyone with any environmental background would understand it!

That said it is however flawed, (but only partly!)

I'll explain it for you!

an unsustainable quota!

You assume wrongly (if you haven't read the IFM principles / rules) that the total quota available will be unsustaianable!

If you believed the propaganda from Fisheries (and I don't - because I have my own idea's on sustainability) then they will ascertain the status of the stocks, decide in a scientific manner - what proportiuon of that is sustainable, and then divvy up the sustaianable yeild between the three groups, Rec, Pro and Indigenous.

So - if say only a 10% of total biomass was harvestable in a sustained yeild basis - we 3 user groups would be allocated a share of that as our quota!

We are NOT being allocated the entire resource, only the sustained yeild proportion of that as our individual quotas!

So - IT DOES MATTER WHO CATCHES THEM! If as a rec angler you want to be allowed to continue to fish (and release).

Otherwise - the pro's will end up with the whole 10% thats sustainable as their quota - and if we as recs wish to be able to put to sea - we will have to BUY some of that back from the pro's

Hope this helps - but really - if you don't understand the current IFM proceedure - then thats not my fault - I have taken the trouble to read and try to understand the current Lobster IFM documents, which is how I know this crap.

We as rec angles need to get smart about this pronto.

As stated - I'm a supporter of C & R, always have been - but unless our C & R is counted in creel surveys as kill - we lose our share of the sustaianable yeild quota to the pro's.

I don't believe the current sustainable yeild modelling used by science is anywhere near accurate for our oceans surrounding Australia, but I have my own reasons for that. I suspect it could well be out (over generous by a factor of 100% - 1000%!).

So - what your suggesting about the lollies - may well be correct if I am right as I suspect about sustained yeild modelling, however according to the official science - the quota's will be "sustainable" if you believe the Fisheries Dept Scientists - (which I learned a long while ago not to so do)!

Clear as mud - eh? ;o)


Ewan's picture

Posts: 271

Date Joined: 15/05/06

We are all on the same page!

Mon, 2006-06-12 13:42

Cheers for the good discussion guys, Flywest you have motivated me to get involved alot more - this stuff is so important to so many people for so many reasons.

Yeah I did realise the quota would be a percentage - and I guess Mum should have been throwing another handful of lollies into the pile every now and then too ;), was just trying to keep it from being a novel!

There can be no doubt, no matter what science has been done or who delivers the theories, that quotas are not sustainable given the rapid decline of our fisheries, I (and everyone else) have so many stories of it, from my own experience fishing around the state (I'm very lucky to have a Dad who loves his fishing! From Bunbury to Dampier, we went on fishing trips 3 times a year for most of my youth - unfortunatley the diversity of places we went to was mostly because the fishing got worse there over the years! Quobba, Steep Pt, Dampier in particular...), to the experiences you hear and read about of crazy catches of herring, tailor, salmon etc all over the state. Hundreds of mulloway being caught off the Carnarvon jetty overnight (and left there to rot the next day :( !!!) YOU CANT JUST BLAME THE PROS!! Not to mention the freezer fillers of Steep Pt, Quobba, Ningaloo, Mid-west coast...professionals dont generally fish off the rocks/cliffs etc (I know of one exception at Quobba), but anyone whos been going there for a length of time would know how it has changed. And it is our (Rec Fishers) fault by default through poor management/enforcement by authorities, as well as our collective catch and kill mentalities of the (hopefully) past. As you say, one important thing, if we have to work within the IFM framework dictated to us, is to get the C&R included in creel surveys and more recognition of conservative fishing. But the other thing is to change that framework given to us, as well as the philosophies of fishers that catch = kill! Or that a successful fisherman is the one with the most fish in the freezer.

I used to work in a fish shop over summer holidays from Uni, the people who owned it were the original fishing family in the area, and I was lucky enough to work with old Uncle X, who was one of the brothers who started it 50 years ago. The stories he told me were just unbelievable, filling 14ft dinghies with dhuies and snapper in a couple of hours within cooee from shore, catching 35 Grey nurse over a night, tonnes and tonnes of whiting off the back beach etc etc - just absolutely mind boggling. Never to be seen again in those areas. Gut-wrenchingly sad, and the motivation for me to study marine biol.

As we see throughout this topic, pretty much everyone is on the same page, we all see the decline and I reckon we are all a bit sad that the next generation wont know how it was. Perhaps we can make a difference?

One difference I would recommend is a change in those who 'represent' Recfishers. Recfishwest are idiots for opposing the proposed Sanctuary zoning at Rotto, just idiots (maybe they do good things on other topics?? I dont know, have been O/S for a while). It seems one or two personalities lead the way and I wonder who pays/influences one I know who fishes, in fact no one I know, thinks they are a bad idea, or should be cut back. Anyone have further comment on this? maybe it is already a forum topic somewhere else (Im sure it is! Im a bit of a newbie!). Everyone knows fishing at Rotto is not as it used to be. Everyone who knows, knows Sanctuary zones (and management zones in general) work. Attacking a lack of science etc is just political, not constructive. I cannot believe that the majority of Rec fishers think like that, that we should be able (i.e. have the RIGHT) to fish out places systematically (serial depletion - thanks Wally!).

anyway - I'm all opinioned out! It is so good to have a forum to talk about these things...great stuff

tight lines

Adam Gallash's picture

Posts: 15492

Date Joined: 29/11/05

Agree - Ewan

Mon, 2006-06-12 13:59

The areas which have been selected around Rottnest need to be reviewed in my opinion. I don't believe trolling at the West End causes significant environmental or fisheries damage - more than any other place on the Western Australian coastline. That's the major reason why I object, the process for us to submit our comments about the sanctuaries were very leading and constructed to elicit an appropriate response. The area's are needed, no doubt, and I don't think people object to that, it's just where and exactly why when some sorts of fishing pose little risk to the biodiversity issues proposed in the santuary zones plan, IMO.

I too have witnessed from childhood fisheries pillage, but was considered the norm by pro's and by rec's alike back then, not even that long ago really. I wish that we could have some impact on changing that image for our children's generation, a sustainable ocean where taking everything from it isn't necessarily the best way to enjoy it.

Anyway, great thread.


Site Admin - Just ask if you need assistance

Posts: 485

Date Joined: 04/02/06

I detect

Mon, 2006-06-12 16:03

I detect a problem within the leadership of Rec Fishing in W.A.

A lot of the poeple involved - are ones I've either known or fished with at some point and too a man all of them are enjoyable fishing partners! They are people you feel comfortable sharing a boat with.

What seems to happen is that when elevated to a position of influence - they seem to endup closing their ears!

They gravitate toward asmall clique whpo tel them what they want to hear (i.e. reinforce their own existing opinions) and then become even more emapassioned - and hell bent on their own agenda's!

It is as tho no one else in the Fishing community can have an opinion, or express it! No one else can posess the God given intellect, to have an original thought!

If the headership didn't think of it - it can't be right / worthy of pursuing!

Now, what happens is - the rest of the angling public just choose to go their own way and don't support the elected body who is supposed to be their spokesperson!

Sometimes alot of the allegiances go back a long way also, such that being publicly critical of anyone in officialdom is a taboo - a no no!

Rec anglers are supposed to number some 600,000 people in WA Yet Recfishwest might be lucky to have 1000 paid up memebrs?

Maybe we haven't yet faced a severe enough threat to our passtime to warrant the rec anglers banding together yet - but unless anglers do band together and get militant ina politicL sense in what they want to achieve, we will get screwed by the Pro's & Fisheries WA.

I think a fundamental problem exists and it is this!


The pro's earn a heck of a lot of it - and they give some to politics and a LOT to Fisheries WA!

It is very hard for rec anglers to weild ANY influence if we likewise do NOT weild the same fiscal clout!

If for example Fisheries WA were as behooldant to rec fishers for their income as they areto the pro's, and also if political parties were as beholdant to rec fishers fiscally as they are to the pro's, then we would have more influence!

It's all well and good to be talking about the trickle down effect of our activity through the community etc but that doesn't fund Fisheries or Politicians so - as a reslt we are a low priority client of both Fisheries & The politicians!

The other problem is, theres so many of us and we are so far spread, abd fiscakly we are so small in comparison to the few pro's who fiscally weild such power - that we are just too hard to be worth bothering with!

Somehow we need to change all that!

I mean - you can see the divergence of opinion within just one thread on one website - imagine sticking 600,000 rec anglers from all over the state, into one venue and trying to get consensus on anything!

The competition breamers would want to lynch the recreational bream netters from molloy island and Mandurah, etc etc etc.

In fact it probably wouldn't be safe to put all the rec anglers in one place together at the same time - we'd all kill each other, unless the pro's were there and we could concentrate our efforts on killin them! ;o)

Imagine the rockhoppers / jetty rats ganging up on the boaters for example!

There is so much factionalism within rec angling ranks!

Who ever gets to mix it with the offshore gamefishing boys?

Each have the cliques, clubs and groups / allegiances, each would want to claim the right to rule rec fishing, as they best see fit! Each would have their own would be emperors/dictators (and few would have any willing workers!).

I well recall trying to start the WA Branch of the Fishing party in WA before the last election, I think we managed maybe 3 members but needed something like a mnimum of 25 or something to even be able to register a party let alone stand a candidate in even ONE marginal seat!

That was after placing membership forms in every tackle shop in the state and it only costing $22 to join!

So - we are left with what we have a small core group who claim to represent us but have little if any real grass roots support!

Apathy at the end of the day wins out!

About the only thing that could chamge that would be a serious enough threat to recreational fishing - like it being banned on humanitarian / welfare grounds, like say fox hunting!

I think with a big enough threat from without maybe rec fishing would get it's act together, but barring that happening anytime soon, I can't see it happening at all frankly!

Maybe the next big pilchard kill or something will do it - lets wait n see!