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Monday, 20 October 2014

Port Phillip Bay Transit Only Lane

With the Snapper season in full swing, we remind everyone to stay safe and be responsible. Anchoring in the shipping transit lane is not only dangerous but is leading to conflict and threatening our access. We Fish ask that you not only make yourself aware of the danger and the rules of the transit lane and follow the rules, but if you see another recreational vessel doing the wrong thing that you inform them of the danger and the rules, and ask them nicely to move on. By doing the right thing and encouraging others to do the right thing we can help prevent a situation where the port authority feels the only way to provide a safe environment is for use to be removed from the areas. 

"There's a $295 on-the-spot fine and from now on if we find someone anchoring in this channel we will be giving them [a fine]," Mr Mnew said.

Channels are marked with port (red) and starboard (green) lateral markers, transit only lanes (no anchoring) run parallel to and up to several hundred meters either side of the commercial shipping channel, and fairways, they are marked with a yellow special mark and lit with a yellow light at night. Small vessels must not anchor, drifting, moor, or engage in fishing activities within these transit lanes. 

Vessels under 50 meters in length must give way to vessels of over 50 meters in length.

5 short blast of ship horn, indicate the master of the ship in unclear of your intention or doubts you are taking action to avoid collision, move clear of vessels sounding this signal.

Ships, tugboats and port control use VHF radio to communicate; emergency communication is conducted on VHF channel 16 or VHF channel 67 

We Fish has been made aware of some unsubstantiated claims that anglers who are doing the right thing being harassed by the authorities. We ask that if anyone should find themselves in this situation that they remain calm and respectful. Most anglers have a smart phone and we ask that you video any such incident and forward it to

Sunday, 19 October 2014

$3.25 Million Mordialloc Pier upgrade.

Victorian Premier Dr Dennis Napthine announces $3.25 Million Mordialloc Pier upgrade.

Mr Rex Hunt has been lobbing to have Mordialloc Pier upgraded for a number of years now, it’s great to see is hard work coming to fruition.

Friday, 12 September 2014

We Fish applauds Coalition marine park review

The Coalition government makes good on its election promise and announces the chairs and terms of reference for the Expert Scientific Panel and Bioregional Advisory Panels for its independent review of the Commonwealth marine park management plans.

This is a good move in the right direction with the current Commonwealth marine park management plans clearly showing to be grossly inadequate offering virtually no protection, while at the same time wrongly removing some user groups from the area. The review panels will report to the Government by mid-2015.

An Expert Scientific Panel, chaired by Associate Professor Bob Beeton, will look closely at the science supporting the new marine reserves.

Professor Beeton is Associate Professor at the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management at the University of Queensland. He has recently chaired the 2011-12 NSW Government Audit of Marine Parks and is a past chair of the Australian Threatened Species Scientific Committee as well as the Australian State of the Environment Committee.
Other members of the panel include Mr Peter Cochrane, Adjunct Professor Colin Buxton, Dr Julian Pepperell and Dr Sabine Dittmann.

Five Bioregional Advisory Panels (one for each marine region, except the South-east marine region) will ensure that communities, marine-based businesses and other interested groups are consulted about the management of marine reserves in those areas.
The Bioregional Advisory Panels will be co-chaired by Professor Colin Buxton, Adjunct Professor of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania, and Mr Peter Cochrane, Australian Government Ambassador for the IUCN World Parks Congress, Adjunct Fellow at the Fenner School for Environment and Society Australian National University, and the former Director of National Parks.

Other panel members include:

North Bioregional Advisory Panel
Mr Joe Morrison
Mrs Katherine Winchester
Mr Matthew Barwick

North-west Bioregional Advisory Panel
Dr Andrew Rowland
Mr Brett McCallum
Associate Professor Stephan Schnierer

South-west Bioregional Advisory Panel
Dr Andrew Rowland
Mr Clayton Nelson
Ms Sue Middleton

Temperate East Bioregional Advisory Panel
Mr Simon Boag
Mr Stelios (Stan) Konstantaras
Professor William Gladstone

Coral Sea Bioregional Advisory Panel
Mrs Judy Lynne
Ms Larissa Hale
Mr Neville Rockliff

Greg Hunt MP

The Hon Greg Hunt MP & Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck media release

Fishing world and ARFF
Australian Marnie Alliance

Changes to NSW recreational fishing rules

A total of 16 changes to the recreational fishing rules will apply to fishers from 3 November 2014. This includes a number of changes to possession limits, bag limits, one size limit and other rule changes.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Marine scientist, Rob Lewis

Here we have an article in the Adelaide Advertiser 9th Sep 2014
By a marine scientist, Rob Lewis. Former director of SA dept Fisheries, former director SARDI, and former presiding member of the marine council of SA.

Not quite sure were to start with this one, but for a second put everything else aside apart from the fact that this marine scientist doesn’t think that more frequent reviews of the management plans of marine parks are a good idea.

Management plans provide for the protection and conservation of the marine reserves. Management plans must set out how the reserves are to be managed. The plans provide certainty about the activities that will be allowed and not allowed in the reserves and must be consistent with the relevant Australian IUCN Reserve Management Principles which define how the marine reserves should be managed.

So in basic terms the management plans, manage the threats, let’s just go back on step, first before you can properly manage the threats you not only need to know what the threats are,  but how much of a threat they are. Without this information any management plans are fairly useless.

This marine scientist thinks that properly managing the marine parks would be a distraction to marine parks, he claims it would continue tensions and arguments between stake holders.

I would like to make a suggestion to Rob Lewis, if scientist like yourself actually did your job properly to protect our marine environment instead of using it as an opportunity to run an anti-fishing campaign then there would be much less tension.

How important are management plans? Let’s take one of the oldest marine parks in the country, the Great Barrier Reef marine park. Announcements of the escalating damage to the Great Barrier Reef confirm Australia's most famous Marine Protected Area has not been properly protected. UNESCO's shows Australia is in danger of becoming the first developed country to have World Heritage Status of an area revoked.

Now you will hear from many people who claim they care about our marine environment, blaming the Liberal government or mining companies for this threat to our GBRMP. But you will hear very little about the people/groups/political parties who have been at the forefront of advocating for marine parks, and management plans that allow this to happen in the first place.

It is increasingly obvious that management within the whole of the protected areas network has been, and remains, inadequate. If we had proper management plans or if they were revised more frequently, than dumping dredge waste on a marine park would simply not be allowed, it really is quite that simple.

An in my opinion I think it’s time that the people who really do care about the health of our marine environment start asking people like marine scientist Rob Lewis, who have been advocating that fishing should be banned in the management plans but something like dumping dredge spoils  shouldn’t.

Rob Lewis, again perhaps this is the reason for this tension you talk about. Perhaps it is because you have failed in your role as a marine scientist to provide honest unbiased facts, instead dishing out this crap.

As for the claim that marine parks increase fish stocks, this is not so black and white.  This is where Mr Rob Lewis uses a little bit of selective science. Yes in the absence of effective fisheries management marine parks have been shown to increase some fish stocks, but this is hardly surprising. If we had two apple trees and you were not allowed to take fruit from one of them, you don’t have to be a genius or in fact a marine scientist to work out which one would have more apples on it. The question how ever is which tree and surrounding environment would be healthier?
Banning fishing doesn’t necessarily benefit all the species of that area,  in fact having a larger amount of species anglers target in the area would in most cases put extra pressure on their prey, and its these very species that are facing the greatest threat. You might have seen a very nice marine park poster with a leafy sea dragon on it, with some claims about it needing protection! They want us to protect the leafy sea dragon by banning anglers targeting the very species that eats this leafy sea dragon! And they wonder why there is tension?

But what’s even more important is that is becoming clear that if we have affective fisheries management than the benefit of banning fishing is demonised greatly to the point that there is no net benefit in angler target species.

In finishing I would like to say to Mr Rob Lewis, instead of unfairly attacking fishing go out and do your job and protect our marine environment, so that my kids and all future generations can enjoy what we all enjoy today!

In our online world we now live in, your worlds Mr Rob Lewis will be around for all to read in the future and to decide if you were one of those that helped protect our marine environment or the reason it was destroyed!