An article in this week’s local newspaper caught my eye, the heading was “Algae Solution Needed” which for those who have been reading my blogs regarding the Great Northern Pipeline to bring the water currently going to waste from Lake Argyle, down south, will agree that it supports the pipeline project. It is just perfect timing.
I have stated earlier in a previous blog that when we can fill our two major dams to capacity, the overflow will flush out the algae from our affected rivers. On the same page in the newspaper, up pops Recfish West and I quote “while the news is welcomed, Recfish West believes that there needs to be a more proactive approach to the management of the Swan, Canning system with a framework that doesn’t lock people out of the fishery for months at a time”. They have bought back crab licenses from all over the state, is that not locking people out of the industry.
What hypocrisy when the head of Recfish West, agreed with Minister for Fisheries Mr Kelly, when he announce a buy back scheme for all of the professional crab fishermen in the Mandurah fishery supposedly, to attract more tourists to Mandurah, but it’s not a good look when the basket of crabs in the photo featured in the article all look to be undersized. They are also planning a similar buy back scheme for the Rockingham, Safety Bay areas. I believe that the Bunbury pro crab fisher is also in their sights, there is only one crab fisher left on the Swan.
Don’t the recreational fishermen get enough already. Look at the situation with the rock lobster industry. Recreational fishermen have a quota of twelve lobsters per day. The perfect set up for the biggest black market in trading rock lobsters. I have been told of one recreational fisherman who has a stock of 100 lobsters in his freezer. Why?
Rec Fish West supports any move by this Government that will cause damage and disruption to the Professional Fisheries of WA, that includes all categories. Rec Fish West are behind every move to destroy our professional Fishing industries. They actually demanded that the total catch of all Pro fishermen, be split 50% for the pros and 50% for the Rec Fishermen.
The actual figures prove that Rec fishermen outnumber pro’s many times over and that their total catch is far greater than all of the professional’s put together. Professional fishermen in Mandurah used to number one hundred and six, now they have been reduced to five. We will all be eating fish from China soon the way we are going, especially as China has just purchased the entire Kailis Brothers organisation. So the average consumer can look forward to fish from China, Taiwan and Vietnam and very little local fish.
Recently Woolworths had cray tails from Brazil in in their fish cabinet. In excess of 80% of all fish eaten in Australia is imported, and is now heading closer to100% and China will be pushing all of their farmed prawns and other seafood through the Kailis’ outlets here.
Rec Fish West
A few years back, in Mandurah we had a person, who originated from Gibraltar. He was continually watching and reporting everything he saw regarding professional fishermen’s activities. He was at every meeting asking ridiculous questions and making himself a pain in the butt. He was particularly interested in a couple of local trawlers working around the Comet bay area. He was so interested that he conned himself aboard one night so he could watch the operation. He saw a number of small fish of various types, commonly referred to as trash fish being thrown overboard. This he referred to the Fisheries Department, they investigated and found that no offense had been committed. Shortly after the three trawlers were stopped from working. No more beautiful comet bay prawns which had no added chemical, they were just beautiful sweet unadulterated prawns as Australian seafood product should be. Clean and Green, that’s our standard.
The truth of the matter is that these trawlers licenses carried an endorsement for prawning only, so any fish, regardless of whether they were legal size or not, had to be returned to the sea. Mr Procock was a member of the local agitators, who, later became Rec Fish West.
RFW must have had some political clout, because they approached our previous Premier Mr Barnett who I believe always had a dislike for Recreational fishermen. I imagine that the reason was that Professional fishermen were kept under control by the Fisheries Act 1905, but with recreational fishermen who held an amateur license as it was called then, they never knew who they were dealing with a doctor, lawyer, high court judge, anybody, but with Professional Fishermen, the Act states that a license is not deemed as right and can be removed at any time.
The then Premier, Mr Barnett made a huge decision. He decided to give the entire Recreational section of the fisheries to Rec Fish West, including the $17 million licensing fee. RFW don’t even handle the compliance side of the deal, Fisheries officers still do that. What a sweet deal, on top of that RFW were given the old Fisheries research station at North Beach. I have not been able to find out what the rent is for a peppercorn rental for the entire outfit, offices and laboratories. They amuse themselves by putting some artificial reef here and there entirely for the Recreational fishermen.
That is not all they do; they are constantly included in photos with politicians, but there big aim is trying to destroy our professional fishing industry with things like, ”the entire fishery belongs to the people and has to shared 50/50”.
You have no idea of the amount of license fees attached to the professional fishing industry and between the Greens Fisheries and RFW, things like closure of fishing grounds Marine Parks and changes to the times fishing can be carried out and license buy-outs, it is never ending. How dare RFW demand that the total fishery catch be split 50/50 with the recreational fishermen, especially when they outnumber the pros by about fifty to one.
At the time RFW took over the recreational side of the fishery, they took over approx. 285,000 boats and license fees. Rec boats are all equipped with the latest fish finding gear and each time they go out, they can come back to a point in the ocean to within 1 metre of their previous catch. They eventually clean out all of their favourite spots, leaving nothing.
Professionals can’t operate like that, their fishing is seasonal and they have to keep moving or their catch will become uneconomical. The Rec fishers have no season, they fish all year round, and that includes cray fishing. A Rec boat with 4 people aboard with 4 Rec licenses can take 48 crayfish per day. That’s extreme and wrong, but RFW reckon it’s great. The more catch and can strip from the professionals the higher their share goes with the Rec fishers. The more fisheries they take away from the professional fishermen, the sooner we will all be eating low grade fish from third world countries. No consideration has been given to the average household who have no access to fish other than what the professionals catch and put on the market for mums and dads to buy.