Koalaboi

Snapper Fishing Ban Mooted for South Australia

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Hi,

Thanks for all the interesting, thoughtful and perceptive comments. For me, I reckon that we are the custodians of the environment and it is our responsibility to hand it over to our children in a better state that we inherited. We have the knowledge and the ability to do so but it's just not happening.

Whether you're talking fish kills in the Murray Darling system or massive drops in numbers of marine fishes, the overexploitation of our finite resources and habitat destruction seems to be getting worse not better.

We're just a bunch of passionate recreational fishers and I know that we all observe bag and size limits. But we  can't do it alone.

It is going to take coordinated action by government, government authorities, business, farmers, professional fishers etc for us to halt the problem. For this to happen we need our elected governments at state and federal level to work together to protect the environment and provide leadership.

Call me cynical or even pessimistic but I just can't see it happening. It's like watching a slow motion train crash. What's really sad is the we have done things like this in the past: addressing ozone depletion was a world wide effort and a success. Bringing whales back from the brink of extinction....We can do it.

I'll get off my soapbox!

KB

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29 minutes ago, noelm said:

Rec fishing "issues" vary from place to place, state to state, there is no universal one size fits all solution, most times, nothing is done until its way too late, and drastic measures are introduced (like SA) other times, it's just us whinging the pros caught all "our" fish, a professional fisherman's life is not all sunshine and money, contrary to what some might believe, when it's raining and blowing, we are home in front of the heater, they are out making a living. We rec fishermen tend to be quite selfish in a way, we want it all our way, I have never seen a thread complaining about (say) Abalone fishermen, or lobster fishermen, or the Pilchard fisherman that supplies our bait, simply because most don't care, it doesn't affect us, but mention Snapper, and it's an outrage, we need to be open minded to both sides before anything substantial gets done, and most times, anything substantial hurts, and is not popular.

Noel... stop bringing facts and logic in to this ebate!  This is too serious for that !!!!!

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25 minutes ago, Koalaboi said:

Hi,

Thanks for all the interesting, thoughtful and perceptive comments. For me, I reckon that we are the custodians of the environment and it is our responsibility to hand it over to our children in a better state that we inherited. We have the knowledge and the ability to do so but it's just not happening.

Whether you're talking fish kills in the Murray Darling system or massive drops in numbers of marine fishes, the overexploitation of our finite resources and habitat destruction seems to be getting worse not better.

We're just a bunch of passionate recreational fishers and I know that we all observe bag and size limits. But we  can't do it alone.

It is going to take coordinated action by government, government authorities, business, farmers, professional fishers etc for us to halt the problem. For this to happen we need our elected governments at state and federal level to work together to protect the environment and provide leadership.

Call me cynical or even pessimistic but I just can't see it happening. It's like watching a slow motion train crash. What's really sad is the we have done things like this in the past: addressing ozone depletion was a world wide effort and a success. Bringing whales back from the brink of extinction....We can do it.

I'll get off my soapbox!

KB

It's a renewable resource and much of the effort has already been removed in NSW waters.

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Another proof point our regulators are totally clueless about how to manage our fisheries. Wait till a species is threatened than ban catching them.

if this sort of behaviour occurred in the private sector those responsible would be sacked.

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11 minutes ago, flatheadluke said:

Another proof point our regulators are totally clueless about how to manage our fisheries. Wait till a species is threatened than ban catching them.

if this sort of behaviour occurred in the private sector those responsible would be sacked.

The species is 'not threatened' it's just depleted in St Vincents Gulf. The snapper no's are healthy in other parts of SA and neighbouring Victoria. There might be environmental factors which makes the job harder for fisheries managers.

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3 hours ago, JonD said:

So the big question is whether we will see such closers here in NSW. Anyone who has seen my snapper exploits down here on the far south coast will know the fishery is in big trouble. The once productive snapper grounds suddenly saw a huge increase from rec fishers and comercial alike. Set lines and traps covered these small reefs to the point I've caught under 5 snapper in the last 3 years after hundreds of trips. The inshore reefs of Bermagui are heading in the same way with trap buoys dotted all along the reefs.

As for marine parks, the Batemans Bay marine park is about to undergo the first of its sanctuary removals. The deal has been done, the announcements will be soon public.

The charter boats seem to be catching them and there are reports of good catches in the Narooma News and other sources:

https://www.montagueislandadventures.com.au/snapper-and-kingfish/

 

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1 hour ago, kingfishbig said:

The species is 'not threatened' it's just depleted in St Vincents Gulf. The snapper no's are healthy in other parts of SA and neighbouring Victoria. There might be environmental factors which makes the job harder for fisheries managers.

As a keen SA snapper fisher, I can tell you from personal experience that snapper numbers are WAY WAY down.... and I dont fish Gulf St Vincent.

Where I would get 4-5 reasonable snapper around 45cm (and a fair bit of quality by-catch) fairly easily on my irregular outings (6 times a year?) , the last 2 years have 4 total!   The last time I went about 2 months age, no snapper and no bycatch for around 6 hrs on the water-- didnt even lose a bait to a fish.

 

I think 'threatened' IS the correct word to use.

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3 minutes ago, Scratchie said:

That was from 2017

Well that's fairly recent and JohnD did mention the last 3 years.

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3 minutes ago, dmck said:

As a keen SA snapper fisher, I can tell you from personal experience that snapper numbers are WAY WAY down.... and I dont fish Gulf St Vincent.

Where I would get 4-5 reasonable snapper around 45cm (and a fair bit of quality by-catch) fairly easily on my irregular outings (6 times a year?) , the last 2 years have 4 total!   The last time I went about 2 months age, no snapper and no bycatch for around 6 hrs on the water-- didnt even lose a bait to a fish.

 

I think 'threatened' IS the correct word to use.

The phrase was the 'species is threatened'. No saltwater fish species has ever been made extinct by fishing. And like I mentioned they are doing well in Victoria and part of the SA snapper stocks are shared with Victoria. The Gulf snapper are a different stock.

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point taken.....  We SA fishers believe the Vic govt actually understand fisheries management AND the value to the economy of rec fishing in general.

Please invade us and take control....

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Hi all...I done a lot of fishing off port Stephens in the 70s with my old man and uncle,I always remember catching snapper and trevally,trevally were thick in numbers and always thrown back.today you rarely catch a trevally,still get plenty of snapper though.what happened to the trevally ?? 

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4 hours ago, noelm said:

Rec fishing "issues" vary from place to place, state to state, there is no universal one size fits all solution, most times, nothing is done until its way too late, and drastic measures are introduced (like SA) other times, it's just us whinging the pros caught all "our" fish, a professional fisherman's life is not all sunshine and money, contrary to what some might believe, when it's raining and blowing, we are home in front of the heater, they are out making a living. We rec fishermen tend to be quite selfish in a way, we want it all our way, I have never seen a thread complaining about (say) Abalone fishermen, or lobster fishermen, or the Pilchard fisherman that supplies our bait, simply because most don't care, it doesn't affect us, but mention Snapper, and it's an outrage, we need to be open minded to both sides before anything substantial gets done, and most times, anything substantial hurts, and is not popular.

A well-constructed set of points that you make Noel. Thank you. bn

 

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27 minutes ago, back cruncher said:

Hi all...I done a lot of fishing off port Stephens in the 70s with my old man and uncle,I always remember catching snapper and trevally,trevally were thick in numbers and always thrown back.today you rarely catch a trevally,still get plenty of snapper though.what happened to the trevally ?? 

About 5 years ago I remember a good run on trevally and haven’t encountered them since! Good point! 

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Posted (edited)

I think just reducing bag and increasing size limit would be a passive non-aggressive move that fishos might sort of appreciate more over a complete ban. Let's not forget that it takes 3-4 years for snappers to be of legal length which obviously can change depending on external factors. 

Also allot of people don't throw back the big boppers which are essential for breeding, and tbh I don't really think there that good eating at that size. 30-45 cm is when there really palatable. 

Edited by Oz98

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1 hour ago, Oz98 said:

I think just reducing bag and increasing size limit would be a passive non-aggressive move that fishos might sort of appreciate more over a complete ban. Let's not forget that it takes 3-4 years for snappers to be of legal length which obviously can change depending on external factors. 

Also allot of people don't throw back the big boppers which are essential for breeding, and tbh I don't really think there that good eating at that size. 30-45 cm is when there really palatable. 

SA bag limit is 5 per person, 15 per boat 38-60cm.  minimum size 38cm   Over 60cm, 1 per person  3 per boat.  THis has been in place for several years already.

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1 minute ago, dmck said:

SA bag limit is 5 per person, 15 per boat 38-60cm.  minimum size 38cm   Over 60cm, 1 per person  3 per boat.  THis has been in place for several years already.

Oh wow I did not know this, thanks mate. quite some difference there from upper NSW where most of us fish from. 

Well in that case, looks like they could massage the figures up a bit more lol. 

I like the, only 1 over 60cm per head. That's great as it keeps some breeders out there...

 

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Posted (edited)

Yes that's correct that report was from 2017 and from a comercial fisherman who was running charters in the morning followed by set lining in the afternoons from a different comercial boat, as several others were at the time. It didn't take long for the trap boats to clean up what was left.

Totaly agree Sydney fishes well for snapper, just like further north, hence why I head up there chassing snapper from time to time. I think those who believe snapper fishing is good here should give it a try rather than search for odd reports of occasional catches. 

Some of the retired comercial guys talk of simply rowing out to fill boxes with large snapper, a far cry from today.

I never saw the amount of boats gathered together like they do here in all the years I lived and fished out of Sydney. The last few weeks we've had comercial operators here from Sydney to Eden targeting kingfish here, one comercial operator single handed pulled over 500kg in one session. Another pulled 760kg with a schoolboy deckhand. Charters in the morning comercial lead lining in the afternoon evening.

 

IMG_0135.JPG

Edited by JonD
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Thats doing my head in Jon.

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Hi,

I remember back in the late 60s and 70s that catching a few tailor was simply a matter of turning up at the beach or rocks with some pillies, a 3/4 gang hook rig and having a cast.

Not any more.

@kingfishbig above wrote,  "No saltwater fish species has ever been made extinct by fishing." I think he's probably correct but at the same time, have absolutely no idea how such a claim could be verified.

Lots of animals have become extinct because of human activity, the Tassie Tiger is a good example and, there's plenty more on the way here in Australia.

National Geographic has an interesting article on the issue:

"...by 1989, when about 90 million tons (metric tons) of catch were taken from the ocean, the industry had hit its high-water mark, and yields have declined or stagnated ever since. Fisheries for the most sought-after species, like orange roughy, Chilean sea bass, and bluefin tuna have collapsed. In 2003, a scientific report estimated that industrial fishing had reduced the number of large ocean fish to just 10 percent of their pre-industrial population."

The full article is linked below but I'm sure there's lots more out there.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/oceans/critical-issues-overfishing/

Again, it's all good us talking about this, and that's important. We need to get the conversation happening. I want my sons and their children to be able to go for a fish and come home with a feed.

I guess the question here is, what can we do?

 

 

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It's kind of funny the NSW Snapper thing, they seem to be doing OK in patches, yet not so good in others, JonD tells us his location is not so flash, mine is the same, yet not that far away, Snapper catches are pretty good, and fishing pressure is pretty much the same, wonder why? Environmental perhaps? Very little commercial fishing for Snapper goes on near me, so we can't blame the pros, plenty of rec boats, I can't see that is any different in Sydney the North Coast or anywhere else though, it just seems to be certain isolated areas are "fished out" don't get me wrong, we still catch some, I consider myself a pretty good Snapper fisherman, but it's hard work to get a consistent catch.

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Hi all...off Newcastle the coal ships have raked the grounds flat from anchoring waiting to get into the port.snaper fishing is not as productive as port Stephens,but snapper are caught often,and good ones.plenty of pros and Rex’s in both spots.and port Stephen only a beach away.

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I was in a discussion this morning about the marine parks down here and the fact they may soon be removed. There have also been numerous discussions on the pros and cons of no take zones and certain species being off limits. Unfortunately, in any discussion, trying to make sense of facts that simply aren't true is a nightmare, and once one party starts making outrageous claims then so does the opposition. How different these consultations would be if a truth serum was slipped into all party's drinks!

There are accusations that the marine park killed off tourism in our local town - many from one charter operator who gets very little of the tourist pie, due to poor service. The fact that 6 new charter businesses (that I can think of), with a total of about 9 boats, have popped up during the period of the marine park's life is totally missed. There's also the new Abbott Fisheries co-op, with their large factory boat the D&D; new commercial abalone and urchin fishos; and the accompanying businesses that sell fish, service boats and supply boat, fishing, snorkel and dive equipment, etc.

The fact that statistics show that accomodation bookings have constantly increased, to the point people are now turned away during peak seasons, is also overlooked. A new and much larger Woolworths will be opened by Xmas and Aldi will also very shortly be here in Narooma.

Yes, we have marine parks and yes, the fishing is still pretty poor compared to even a few years ago. Yes, some commercial operators were bought out and yes they are still out there most days, recreationally using those same lead lines. Yes, the snapper grounds get hit hard by rec and commercial fishers, or at least they did, until they stopped fishing well. The question of whether the marine park has actually been implemented properly, backed by scientific research, and properly policed, is debatable. Will a marine park actually be successful, if the rules and regulations are ignored and even flouted, by those that don't support them?

The subject of commercial netting often causes conflict between the netters and catch and release enviro anglers. The fact that the best bream fishing systems are often netted areas, actually makes some sense scientifically. Studies have shown that by reducing stock numbers to a certain point, provides the remaining stock with more food and habitat. Just like putting 100 sheep into an overworked paddock compared to putting a small amount into the same field. As long as the  reduction is actually controlled, and not allowed to happen to the point of decimation. And as long as the remaining stock are actually looked after and protected. Unfortunately, everyone has their own agenda, which mostly comes down to greed and selfishness.

I think we always need to be willing to hear both sides of stories, as well as be transparent and truthful, without pushing an agenda. When facts are facts, sometimes we also need to be prepared to accept that our opinion may not always be correct.

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On 8/9/2019 at 10:39 AM, Scratchie said:

Quite an interesting topic! 

I have found that this snapper season to be one of the best in years! Almost every trip has been in the double digits and two weeks ago we had the best trip I’ve ever encountered with approximately 100 fish boated. I’ve never seen them so thick in this area! 

We still have trawlers, fish traps and probably more rec anglers than ever before! 

I’m at a loss to explain why! 

But let’s hope the great fishing continues 👍

cheers scratchie

Yeah, as a sure fire way to improve snapper stocks I've heard NSW is considering doing away with location based bans and simply introducing a "scratchie" ban  :risata:

Seriously though, such a complicated topic. Personally I'd support localised marine parks around Sydney similar to what was done in Jervis Bay providing that it is based on science, that sufficient areas are maintained for rec fishos  and that it is policed adequately. Anything that helps fish stocks is a good thing in my opinion. Sad thing is this is highly unlikely with environmentalists wanting to lock up everything in site, no resources available for policing and many fishos intent on ignoring the rules that are in place to protect the future of our sport. Its seriously pathetic how often you see people on the hacking fishing inside the shiprock marine park. There's one reserve in the whole damn river system but that's where people have to fish  :1wallbash: 

 

Rich

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1 hour ago, JonD said:

I was in a discussion this morning about the marine parks down here and the fact they may soon be removed. There have also been numerous discussions on the pros and cons of no take zones and certain species being off limits. Unfortunately, in any discussion, trying to make sense of facts that simply aren't true is a nightmare, and once one party starts making outrageous claims then so does the opposition. How different these consultations would be if a truth serum was slipped into all party's drinks!

There are accusations that the marine park killed off tourism in our local town - many from one charter operator who gets very little of the tourist pie, due to poor service. The fact that 6 new charter businesses (that I can think of), with a total of about 9 boats, have popped up during the period of the marine park's life is totally missed. There's also the new Abbott Fisheries co-op, with their large factory boat the D&D; new commercial abalone and urchin fishos; and the accompanying businesses that sell fish, service boats and supply boat, fishing, snorkel and dive equipment, etc.

The fact that statistics show that accomodation bookings have constantly increased, to the point people are now turned away during peak seasons, is also overlooked. A new and much larger Woolworths will be opened by Xmas and Aldi will also very shortly be here in Narooma.

 

Do you have any evdence that the marine parks down there will be removed? It's certainly news to me. The Coalition even tried to declare one for Sydney. And the only wind back they have done was opening up a handlful of landbased areas. It's doubful they do much anyway in NSW waters where we have fisheries management in place. It is more cost effective just to build on the existing restrictions.

Also a rise in tourism in a popular sea change destination not far from Sydney is not startling (especially given the latters population has risen by 1 million in 10 years).

Also for what it's worth I was down at Narooma one Nov a few years ago and on weekdays saw no more than a half dozen fishing boats around Monatgue Island and hardly any in the Inlet.

 

 

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