A severe outbreak of coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish is occurring in the Swain Reefs, the southernmost location in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park found to have the starfish during the current outbreak.
The crew at Ocearch have been generating some cool data on shark movements in QLD.
Following an east coast expedition back in 2015, the team have followed some big beasts with some incredible distances travelled.
The AFTA (Australian Fishing Trade Association) Trade Show is on at the Gold Coast this weekend. This is where the Aussie tackle industry reveals all the new and exciting products set to hit our tackle stores’ shelves in the months to come. The who’s who of the tackle trade are there. The old salts catch up with old friends and remark about how far things have come and the young, or first timers, simply walk around catching flies as they are bombarded with shiny new kit.
Hot bunking of commercial fishing licences must be torpedoed!
By Tim Trollworthy
Welcome to April after a few weeks of cyclones; some of QLD copped a caning with associated drenchings, while other places close to the cyclone action remain as dry as a bone. It epitomises the amazing land of contrast that we live and fish in! I hope all readers in cyclone affected areas are doing OK and the sou’ easters now give us a break.
Letter from the Queensland Recreational Fishing Network (http://www.qrfn.org/)
If Net Free Areas are established, the public won’t be able to buy local fresh fish!
The total annual reported harvest by commercial net fishers along the East Coast of Queensland year on year since the late 1990’s (official Fisheries Qld figures) has been between 5000 – 7000 tonnes/year. We have sourced the official commercial annual total catch figures for the three proposed Net Free Areas and averaged them over a reasonable timeframe.
No surprise to us to find that the combined average annual total commercial net catch across the three proposed NFAs is less than just 300 tonnes each year.
That means that currently the catch from these three areas combined is less than a meagre 5% of the total commercial net catch from the east coast.
Well, the election is done and dusted and, like Tropical Cyclone Marcia, Labor’s rise to power took many of us by surprise. It’s hard to say how many votes it influenced, but the decision to create three net free areas near Rockhampton, Cairns and Mackay was definitely an example of how the squeaky wheel gets the oil. I suppose Townsville has the net free Hinchinbrook channel within driving distance, but you have to wonder if Townsville had a campaigner of the ilk of Kim Martin (CQ), Lance Murray (Mackay) or Paul Aubin (Cairns) whether they too would have received a nearby net fee area?
I actually feel for Scott Mitchell and the Fraser Coast Fishing Alliance who missed out. They have campaigned hard to end netting in the Great Sandy Straits which, as they say, is “the only Marine Park in the country (possibly the world!) that allows unrestricted numbers of commercial netters to fish Yellow Conservation Zones!” The cynic in me wonders if the per capita of rec fishing votes in the promised net free areas was the driving force. After all, if science was the reasoning, they’d have rolled out the zones with the findings of the recent Queensland Fisheries Review...
CQ Boat Ramp Action Group fighting the good fight
By John Boon
It is a well known fact that Capricornia is in much need of another all tide boat ramp to service the ever growing surrounding area. Between Gladstone and Mackay the only dedicated boat ramp for all tide offshore access is the Rosslyn Bay Marina ramp. Now don’t get me wrong, it is a great multilane setup with floating pontoons but with the increase in boat trailer registrations, I’m sorry to say, but, we are falling behind the times.