Home' Afloat : September 2013 Contents Take monthly with water September 2013 51
MAKE MINE A MAKO
The mako is one of the most revered -- and feared -- fish in the
sea. No other shark is quite so unpredictable, typically leaping high
in the air once hooked, sometimes with catastrophic consequences.
As if to prove as much, a mako exacted its revenge on a game
fisher off Sydney a few months back. After it took the bait, the
estimated 200kg shark exploded from the surface and landed
smack bang on the outboard engine.
Luckily, the shark fell back into the sea, but not before inflicting
thousands of dollars worth of damage. Had the mako ended up in
the cockpit of the 24-footer, the result could have been much worse.
Crashing boats is something for which mako sharks have earned
due infamy. There are accounts of anglers being corralled in cabins
The ill-tempered mako is a common visitor to Sydney at this
time of year. Bottom fishers pulling gemfish and blue-eye from
Browns Mountain 40km offshore have been battling to get their
But the seasonal arrival of the mako sharks is welcomed by
East Coast anglers, who mostly tagged the big ones these days. The
record distance travelled for a NSW mako release is 2,577 nautical
miles to the Philippines after 12 years at liberty.
with David Lockwood
BAG LIMITS HALVED IN NSW
Forget marine parks. Well don't. But consider this. If the massive
changes proposed to the recreational fishing rules, as per the
Discussion Paper titled the Review of NSW recreational saltwater and
freshwater fishing rules, are realised they will have a far greater effect on
angling in NSW than any exclusion zones in the wide blue yonder.
In short, more than 20 popular species will have their bag limits
slashed in half, there will be a default limit of just 10 fish for those
species without prescribed bag limits, and each angler will be bound
by a combined daily catch limit of 20 or possibly 30 fish.
Game fishers will be hit by tighter catch limits on marlin, tuna
and sharks, while freshwater anglers face extended fishing bans for
Aussie bass, and even a possible halving of the bag limit on the
noxious brown and rainbow trout. For heavens sake.
At the same time, there are proposed crabbing restrictions, halving
the allowable catch of blue swimmers from 20 to 10, and potential
will need to fin-clip key species like snapper, jewfish and kingfish.
Failure to do so will probably net you a fine.
The proposals would be laughable if they weren't so utterly
ludicrous. For there is no scientific basis, no commensurate restrictions
on commercial fishing, and the whole gig just reeks of a wholesale
reallocation of resources from the humble Aussie angler to the
What's more, the arbitrary redistribution of resources flies in the
face of everything that good science espouses. That is to say, none
of the species referred due for tighter restrictions are overfished,
artisanal forms of fishing -- that is a hook and line -- are the most
sustainable, and angling is a way to reduce your carbon footprint.
While Australia imports more than 70 per cent of the seafood we
consume, anglers are now being told to cut back on their catch. At
the same time, we are encouraged to eat more fish for our wellbeing.
So where does that leave us: at the mercy of the fish markets, I'm
afraid. Therein the hidden plan.
Just how our fisheries managers can justify these immense
restrictions on a whim is mystifying. Minister for Primary Industries,
Katrina Hodgkinson, is pro primary producer and, clearly, all for the
commercial fisher. But anglers with a hook and line surely aren't
The discussion paper was on public exhibition until Saturday,
August 31. See ww w.dpi.nsw.gov.au/reviews/fishingrules. We deser ve
better than being restricted to taking five dusky flathead, five snapper
or two teraglin from a fishing trip. Time to wet a line is hard enough
to find these days.
FISHING CHARTER FOR THE SPORT
Prior to the September 7 election, the Australian Recreational
Fishing Foundation (ARFF) proudly launched its call for A Charter for
Recreational Fishing in Australia. Both major political parties were asked
to back what is a rather excellent proposal.
With more than five million Australians going fishing each year,
recreational fishing ranks as our largest participation sport and
lifestyle activity. Recent estimates reveal that Australians spend
more than $10 billion annually on fishing and much of it in rural
and regional Australia.
The huge popularity of fishing and the wealth and wellbeing
it generates, now means that recreational fishing is starting to be
recognised by governments at all levels as well as by the community
at large. It also means Australia needs a national Charter or
comprehensive policy plan for recreational fishing.
This way, the important role recreational fishing plays within our
community will be better understood by decision makers and the
broader Australian community. ARFF has proposed that there is:
• The appointment of a Minister for recreational fishing
• The establishment of a Recreational Fishing Council to act as a
point of engagement between the recreational fishing community
on key policy developments and implementation
• A scientific review to inform how decisions are made about access
to marine reser ves
• The recognition of fishing as a sport by the Australian Sports
• The development of a long-term sustainable funding model for
representation and policy development activities
• A national education strategy to facilitate and co-ordinate
education activities at the national, state and local levels
• A research trust fund that will work with existing funding and
research mechanisms to focus research on priority areas for
recreational fishing policy
• An environmental trust fund that will work with existing funding
mechanisms and on-ground organisations to facilitate activities
that enhance and protect riverine and marine habitats.
A full copy of A Charter for Recreational Fishing in Australia can be
downloaded at www.arff.com.au.
AYF Approved Riggers
Swaging. Splicing. Cordage.
Timber Sparmaking & Restoration
Classic/Modern Standing & Running Rigging
LOFT: 93 Kenmare Road, Londonderry NSW 2753
Phone: 4777 4863 Mob: 0419 848 348
Links Archive August 2013 October 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page