Home' Afloat : AFLOAT March 2015 Contents 46 AFLOAT.com.au March 2015
with David Lockwood
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PFDs, Clothing, Footwear, Accessories.
1/5 Clyde Street, Rydalmere, NSW
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LOVE THE RUBBISH FISH
There’s a belief among the old school that some critters don’t
deser ve a second chance. These are the so-called rubbish fish, the
scourge that pilfer baits, swallow hooks, snip lines, bite, sting, are
slippery as a saveloy, which are no good to eat, use as bait or feed to
But, as they say, one man’s meat is another’s man’s poisson. And it
wasn’t that long ago that eating squid, octopus, raw fish and cold rice let
alone seaweed was regarded as weird. And in this age of environmental
awareness we really need to value ever ything that’s living. Take a leaf out
of the Buddhists book (though I have no sympathy for biting insects).
If you can let go and let them go you will relieve yourself of the
inner hatred that you hold inside. Treat all fish as deser ving of a place
in the sea. Adopt the mantra that there is no such thing as a bad fish
and you will be instantly transformed into a better angler.
Should a green eel swallow your bait, tie itself in knots and threaten
to remove a digit, just take the knife, cut the line and set it free. Ditto
for the toadies, mados, old boots and dog sharks that cross your path
in this fortunate life.
Of course, it’s law not to re-release carp back into the water ways.
They are a scourge, sucking the mud from the bottom and sullying our
inland rivers, eating ever ything in their path including most worr yingly
the native fish fry and their eggs. Let’s not forget that.
But the introduced trout, redfin, gambusia and, heaven forbid,
the mouthbreeding tilapia are little better. Sadly, NSW Fisheries has
a growing list of introduced fish that are already widespread in NSW
and considered pests. While an aquarium fish in the wild is nothing
but trouble, a bunch of sage fly fishers rushed to the carp’s defence
on a fishing forum the other day.
Evidently, the wily carp in the Turon River around Sofala provide
a real challenge, pull hard once hooked and taste superior to some
trout. This isn’t saying much, as some trout taste like mud. What’s
more, to get the best out of a carp you need to pop it in an ice slurry
soon after capture. Who carries ice in their kit out west in summer?
A challenge, methinks.
But the discussion did make me think that not all fish are bad and,
in fact, there is no bad fish. Like weeds, there are some fish that have
turned feral because we’ve introduced them into the wrong water ways.
Carp are certainly a case in point. Do not release them please. But
if you can gain enjoyment from catching them then that’s probably a
life better spent.
In saltwater, there are pretty much no introduced fish that are a
problem here (ignoring Japanese sea stars, Asian crabs and other stuff
from ship’s ballast). Ever ything that’s native here is for a reason and
the sooner we realise that and respect the intricate web that is nature
the sooner we can live more harmoniously.
The sorry sight of a dried eel, weed fish or wirrah, cocky or kale,
a discarded dog shark or some other supposed ‘rubbish’ species now
ires me for all the right reasons. Let the fish you don’t want go and
karma will work in your fishing favour.
FOLLOW SHARKS ON YOUR PHONE
Speaking of fish swimming free, you just have to jump onto this
cool gig called OCEARCH. The shark-tracking team from America was
in Qld catching tigers and letting them go with trackers. You can follow
the sharks’ travels along the coast on the free phone app. Whole offices
are now comparing notes on sharks at the water cooler.
After landing at Rivergate in Brisbane, the 38-metre research vessel
OCEARCH headed for Fraser Island to get to work on #Expedition
Australia. With an at-sea laboratory, the custom research platform
can lift a 2300kg shark for tagging purposes. Wasting no time, the
non-profit organisation tagged its first shark, a 3.50-metre long (11ft
8in) tiger shark named Jedda, after the Australian movie starring two
Aboriginal actors in leading roles.
You can enjoy near-real-time tracking of the big tiger using the free
app (Global Shark Tracker App) available from the download store and
online via the website. At the time of writing, there was a second tiger
shark called Maroochy at liberty.
More than 50 researchers from 20-plus institutions have
collaborated with OCEARCH with over three dozen research papers
in process or completed. Seventeen research expeditions have been
conducted to date, with seven more scheduled through the end of 2015.
#Expedition Australia moved from Brisbane to Fraser Island
before heading to Mackay and Cairns. Its purpose is to garner more
information on shark migration, behaviour and habits and to help
safeguard populations around the world.
Meantime, Jedda was kind of spooky to follow, circling Lady
Elliot Island and even swimming right in close (perhaps chasing
turtles) on at least one occasion. But you already know that, right?
See w w w.ocearch.org for more
Yep, Jedda came in for a look.
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