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Moreton Bay fishing Green Zones

This is a response to a comment of mine

While I agree we need to protect the environment to ensure our childrens' children will also benefit from it - the implementation of the new zones has to be questioned. I am reliably informed by a member of the public (and holder of a Bachelor of environmental science) who was present during many of the meetings regarding the new Green Zones before they were implemented by the Govt, the report the government has relied upon to implement these zones was based on a thesis prepared by a govt employee - and no-one is able to get a full copy of the thesis or the results - so no-one know how scientific it is and it's certainly not independent. Some of the new green zones are in areas that will have no effect on fish numbers because they're in areas that fish to not breed or eat.

The govt introduced a buy-back scheme allowing commercial fishermen to sell their licences to the govt - great in theory - however, there's a loop hole. Commercial fishermen can sell their licence and get for eg $500,000 for it and then turn around and buy another licence that has been handed back for eg $100,000 - the fishermen pocket the difference and return back to the bay to catch the same large quantity they previously were - effectively the larger commercial fishermen are buying out the smaller ones and there's no decrease to the numbers of fish being caught. That needs to be fixed.

There needs to be a recreational fishing permit introduced but only if the fees go to Fisheries and not consolidated revenue so Fisheries then have funds to improve boat ramps, educate fisherman and boaties and perform more patrols.

The bag limits need to be readdressed again - for example, why is 1 fisherman allowed to catch 30 bream in one outing - who is going to eat that many fish? It's extremely excessive.

So with a review of the green zones, fixing the buy back schemes, introducing permits and reviewing bag limits we should be able to get a better balance.

Heather
Independent for Redlands

Comments

While I agree on basis with much of what has been stated, one of your comment was concerning fishing bag limits. I am a recreational fisher and some thought needs to be put into why you think 30 for bream is a high limit. If someone is out on their boat in order to catch fish there are obvious costs involved like fuel and registration and getting the boat to the water, a person will attempt to justify this with the amount of fish one catches and gives a monetary value to this. This person will most likely have a freezer to store the fish for long term consumption. Your argument seems to presume that this person should have his limit curbed, necessitating increased fishing outings. This in turn will increase fuel consumption adding to environmental damage, water congestion and if said people are not environmentally conscious (and there are many) the possibility of other environmental contaminants. Your statement also gives the impression that the person is fishing for their daily consumption, and if they are then yes 30 is bit high, but many will be looking to spread this catch over a non fishing period. I have been out for an entire day and have thrown everything back. If the bag limit is to be revised should this not be done off sustainable studies of fish numbers and not some numbers simply plucked out of the air because the previous sounds a little big.

I agree in principle that a bag limit would maybe see some fishermen take to the water more often, however, from an economics perspective, the bag limit may deter some from bothering, and these are precisely the ones who should be removed from the equation. The demand for fish is unlimited and by you catching your own you will not slow commercial fishing, so clearly people with chest freezers full of fish which could have been out there breeding are part of the problem as much as commercial fishermen. 30 is an absurd amount of fish to keep, and most people realise that we cannot take fish from nature to feed our family nowdays and that fishing is for pleasure. It's just logical that we have to change our habits, and when you tell your grandkids how you used to catch and freeze 30 bream, they will ask what a bream is. The cost of fishing needs to be increased with a daily permit just like Fraser island has, that way the market mechanism can work and those who don't want to cover the external cost of their activities will go without. Yes it cost money to run a boat, but how much of that is for the damage done to the seagrass, the fish populations and the fools who throw beer cans in the water.

I disagree with the comment that taking fish from nature to eat is somewhat wrong. I assure you that far more than 30 bream are killed and discarded during a single session of prawn trawling. You cannot compare the industrial harvesting of commercial fishing to recreational fishing. Tell me of a single fish species that has been decimated by recreational fishing. Why should recreational anglers have to pay for the excesses of commercial fishing when we put in the effort and dollars to enjoy our sport and bring something home to the table at the end of the day? Why don't you suggest increasing the cost of commercially caught fish so that consumers who refuse to pay can go without which might actually shut down or reduce commercial fishing activities and do some good for the future of fish stocks.

Spot on Jack, Nailed it in one.