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SYDNEY FISHING HAVEN
With a whole lot of backing from local anglers, the Australian
Fishing Trade Association (AFTA) is angling to establish Sydney’s
iconic waterways as a world-class recreational fishing haven.
The tackle-industry group submitted a letter to government
titled “A New Vision for Recreational Fishing in NSW.” Rather than
spare the rod, the idea is to embrace it by creating world-class
recreational fishing havens.
“Establishing the three major waterways of Botany Bay, Sydney
Harbour and Hawkesbury River as a world-class recreational
fishing haven was a long time vision of late fishing legend John
Dunphy,” A F TA Chief Executive Allan Hansard said.
“More than 1 million residents of NSW go fishing each year
and spend an estimated $3.4 billion doing so. The economic,
social and environmental benefits of creating a network of
recreational fishing havens, starting with the Sydney recreational
fishing havens, will be significant,” Hansards says.
AFTA says commercial fishing and other activities that have
an unsustainable impact on key fisheries, impact on important
and sensitive marine habitat or result in localised depletion of key
recreational fishing species close to shore or recreational fishing
access points, should be appropriately curtailed or removed. Any
structural adjustment [compensation] for commercial fisheries or
other activities will be more than paid for by enhanced angling
“ We have already seen both the new Victorian and Queensland
Governments move to establish net-free recreational fishing
havens in their states, as part of their election promises. This is
because they have recognised the significant economic benefit
of recreational fishing to local communities, as well as promoting
a healthy outdoors lifestyle.”
Creating recreational-only fishing havens in a place like Sydney
Harbour would generate much needed economic activity for the
state, create real marine conservation benefits and protect fish
stocks for future generations. As AFTA says, Sydney’s waterways
would become a truly family-fishing friendly place.
REC FISHING SURVEY
Meantime, the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation
(ARFF) is conducting a survey to find out what is important to
you when you go fishing. Do you go fishing to be alone? Spend
time with family? Wet a line to catch a feed? Which species do
you most enjoy catching and why?
The survey is also designed to find out specific issues that
may be impacting on your fishing experience. Answers from the
survey will be used by recreational fishing organisations around
Australia to be more relevant and better represent anglers when
dealing with local councils and various levels of government.
Needless to say, the enjoyment we get from fishing is facing
pressure from many different sides including habitat loss, water
quality issues, impacts from fishing and social pressure. We need
to know more specifically what those issues are, where they are
occurring, and what we can do to protect recreational fishing for
current and future generations in Australia.
Governments need to invest in recreational fishing to ensure
future generations derive the same and better benefits from fishing
than we do today. Take five minutes to complete the survey at
MANGROVE JACK BREEDING
If you ever doubted the benefits of recreational fishing then
consider how $130,000 of our licence money recently funded the
first successful breeding of Mangrove jacks in captivity in NSW.
This is a remarkable achievement and advancement in the
delicate science of breeding fish and it could fuel aquaculture
ventures in future. Made possible by funding from the NSW
Recreational Fishing Trust, the breeding program is managed
by Southern Cross University’s National Marine Science Centre
in Coffs Harbour.
Hatchery production of Mangrove jack is extremely difficult,
as the fish need to access both fresh and saltwater. But the
breeding program, led by Dr Ken Cowden, successfully hatched
more than 4,000 fingerlings.
Those fish were released into Clarrie Hall Dam, a freshwater
location in the Tweed Shire of northern NSW, but wouldn’t it be
great to get some jacks in waterways further south like Manly
Dam! There were a few living in Queenscliff Lagoon when I was
a budding fisher and fingerling. h
Fishing at Fairlight.
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