Recreational fishers have been supporting the current Sustainable Fisheries Strategy. They, like many others, including Fisheries Queensland believe that the current fisheries management protocols are many years past being overhauled. The current system is strongly based on an antiquated perception that there are never too many harvesters on the water. We now have a commercial fishing industry that has far too many operators that are using their licences only during spawning aggregations to top up their other incomes because there are too many of them to all have profitable fishing businesses.
What was expected was that a line wold be drawn in the sand and for each species the existing data would be used to calculate current catch share amongst all sectors: commercial, recreational, indigenous and conservation (theirs stay in the water?). If a species was then identified as in trouble everyone would take an equal hit based on their catch share.
However, in the last week it has become apparent that within Fisheries Queensland there is a separate personal agenda being driven very forcefully to reallocate a considerable portion of the existing recreational catch to the commercial sector before the starting gate has even opened. Small meetings have been held across the state where total possession limits of 3 mud crabs or 15 fish of a species have been very heavily pushed by Fisheries Qld staff. This contradicts the information put out by the department in the discussion papers.
Grassroots recreational fishers are so concerned that they will be breaking proposed rules in order to put a decent feed of fish on the table for their families that they presented a letter to the Premier’s office outlining their concerns. Given that this information has only been available for little more than a week, the turnout of more than 30 boats and at least 70 fishers on a weekday indicates just how distressed many of them are. I expect that this sentiment will only increase across the state in the weeks to come,
For further information please contact Martin Cowling on 0427 011 507
This program we saw 1374 children attend an event with 776 parents or carers assisting and 321 coaches and instructors. We have now seen 30 events run across Moreton Island, Caloundra, Croydon, Georgetown, Toowoomba Barra Farm, Lake Cooby, Charters Towers, Camooweal, Julia Creek, Mt. Isa, Tin Can Bay, Paradise Dam, Bribie Island, Wivenhoe, Deception Bay, Roma St Parklands, Callide Dam, Southport, Quart Pot Creek, Raby Bay, Hayes Inlet, Paradise Point and Dawson River. As you can see they cover saltwater and freshwater and range from south east Queensland to the far north, the Gulf and the west.
The events run have been located across the length and breadth of the State and have also penetrated into most socio-economic groups.
It was a great year with respect to favourable weather and attendance. It was also encouraging to see new organizations running events.
Feedback from attendees, parents, carers, coaches and instructors was unanimously supportive and constructive. In that vein I need to forward on the thanks to Fisheries Queensland and the Minister that were directed through us on the value of this program to their communities. For more information please download the 23 page PDF report
We support the vision, goals and areas of reform proposed but the greatest challenges will be resourcing, data, community acceptance and keeping the reform external to the election process.
Our commercial fisheries need to be overhauled so that they have less operators and they are redesigned to better operate in a consumer environment that has a strong focus on socially and environmentally sustainably caught seafood. This will help to ensure greater profitability within commercial fisheries for the operators and make the career of “commercial fisherman” a viable career choice.
To read the full 6 page response, please download the PDF
It is impossible to pick out a group that had the most fun. Smiles were enormous on all the faces. In this report I have included a selection of the individual reports from events. From the photos you can see that there were a large cross section of children covering, boys and girls, indigenous and also those from socially, physically and emotionally disadvantaged sectors. For those last three groups, these days are probably the most important. In addition this year we ran a Level 1 Instructor’s Course on the first weekend in May. We now have an additional 13 Level 1 instructors. Those that attended that course have already run events for their organizations. These new instructors came from all across the state, including Mount Isa, Mareeba, Caloundra, Toowoomba, Mackay and the southeast. As an aside, modules from our Level 1 Instructor’s course, that include the templates on which our kid’s fishing days are run have this year been included in the national angler education resource database.
Sunfish Queensland wishes to acknowledge the valuable support provided by the provision of this grant funding. Educating our next generations on the valuable resource that they need to protect is extremely important. Equally important is the ability to pass traditional knowledge and skills onto children that may not have those in their family networks that are able to do so, given the changing demographics in our society. We also can’t forget the tremendous opportunities provided for families with children who have difficult circumstances. These families are discovering a pastime that they can enjoy as a unit, irrespective of physical or emotional disadvantages.
Sunfish Queensland Inc