Home' Afloat : AFLOAT April 2018 Contents 46 AFLOAT.com.au April 2018
Tagged blue marlin recaught
Blue marlin don’t have a very high recapture rate after
tagging. Some anglers have speculated this is due to a high
mortality rate, as the highly strung fish can easily burn
themselves out from the fight.
But the scientists behind the NSW DPI Game Fish Tagging
Program believe it has more to do with the blue marlin’s wide
ranging, fast moving, and highly migratory behaviour than
anything else. And they were quick to report that a blue marlin
was recently recaptured after swimming from Port Stephens
to the Gold Coast.
Of the 10,500 blue marlin released since the program’s
beginnings in 1973, only 35 have been recaptured. So blue marlin
number 36 is deserving of some ink. The blue marlin was tagged
during last year’s Interclub Tournament off Port Stephens in
February 2017 and was recaptured off Southern Queensland.
The marlin, recaptured by Peter Iliuk aboard Subpoenaed
The Kink off the Gold Coast, was at ‘liberty’ for 250 days and
travelled 296 nautical miles north. In reality, it probably swam
much further afield.
There was little change in 120kg weight recorded on the
card, but it was the angler’s first ever blue marlin. The lively fish
was released again in excellent condition. Bravo!
This is doubly timely fishing news since April is blue marlin
month and some of the biggest billfish you could hope to catch
off Sydney will be patrolling along the sea mountains and
submarine kinks this month. Fish heavy and think big. h
with David Lockwood
At least below the high-tide mark, the oceans are a shared
resource in this country. That rarely brings clashes between
user groups, with plenty of fish and water to go around, with
marine parks and aquatic reserves to add to the divers’ options.
But there appears to be increasing conflict between these two
user groups around Sydney Heads and, in particular, between
certain brazen commercial dive operators who drop the pick
and anchor on top of charter and rec fishers already in situ and
wetting a line.
The absurdity of this was exposed with a post on Facebook last
month that did end up spiralling out of control with comments,
as it wont to happen on social media. Other local fishers reported
interactions with aggressive dive operators anchoring on top of
them and then demanding right of way.
In the absurd example posted online, the divers seemingly
lost their way and the next thing you saw were a cloud of
bubbles directly below the charter fishing boat with lines and
hooks suspended below (or about to be). Then one of the divers
surfaced, seemingly disorientated in the current, and just metres
from the fishing boat.
I’ve mooted the idea of licensing scuba divers on this page
before. They do demand a lot of ocean for nothing and, but for
the charter operator paying a pretty modest licence, have no
‘skin’ in the game.
But a more equitable and sustainable way to go would be to
simply apply the “first in best dressed rule” and to give fishos
anchored over their favourite reefs the same courtesy we afford
the dive boats flying their blue-and-white burgees.
In the end, there was some admission of a mistake and poor
judgement in the incident captured so clearly on Facebook. But
far be this from the first dive boat to plonk on top of a fishing boat
and claim right of way. Short of a diver being hooked, there’s a
risk of a full-blown confrontation if authorities don’t approach the
dive operators and insist on some courtesy and common sense.
• The other issue irking some fishos at present is the
spearfishers hammering the FADS or fish-aggregating devices
with their guns, shooting up some dolphin fish or mahi mahi,
which they are fully permitted to do with their fishing licenses.
But spearfishers can also shut down the fishery for the rest of
rec fishing fleet in the process and, after the spearfishers climb
back aboard, you can have a dozen boats watching on for hours
without a bit or hit by a fish at the FADs thereafter.
I have nothing against spearos, mind you, and their targeted
approach to fishing and taking only what they need makes good
sense. But perhaps some dive-only FADS aren’t a bad idea. So,
too, perhaps, the licensing of scuba divers to ensure they comply
with some standards if they can’t maintain their own.
Sydney Fishos and Divers Clash
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