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Greens, Fish, and Clams

04/10/2010

Under the waters, life teems

Interesting news. Whenever someone talks about protecting marine zones from fishing, recreational and commercial fishermen tend to get their back up. It’s a topic they take great offence too: being told what to do and what not to do by so called greenies.

The particular interesting news today is seeing that same group of fishermen with smiles on their faces to the outcome of a greens initiative. But it really should not be that interesting. You see if you are talking about conservationists, then you will find none stronger on the issue than recreational and commercial fishermen!

Water birds return in numbers as so have their food supply

The real wearers of the caviar in the face here are the, yes you guessed it, the Coalition. During Tony Abbott’s bid to be king, there was this wonderful claim from a LNP candidate.

A Coalition Government will commit $1 million to a study into “sustainable fishing practices” in Moreton Bay Marine Park, LNP candidate for Bowman Andrew Laming announced this week.

He said the study would be “real science, peer reviewed and available to all stakeholders” and “great news for the fishing community, who are sick of being left out of the decision making process”.

“The approach of the Labor Party has been to just declare vast swathes of the bay off limits to fishermen, with no real evidence to support their actions,” Dr Laming said.

http://www.baysidebulletin.com.au/news/local/news/general/bay-fishing-creates-election-debate/1918089.aspx

Now the interesting part of this claim is it seems Dr Laming has selective reading syndrome. He also seems to not get out much.

From an article dated the 29th August 2006

Fish flourish in Green Zones

New research has shown fish abundance has increased in Green Zones introduced under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan 2003.Preliminary results indicate the Green Zones established in mid-2004 in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park are having a positive effect even faster than scientists expected.The monitoring was initiated by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) as part of the monitoring of the Zoning Plan and was carried out by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and James Cook University (JCU).GBRMPA’s Regional Liaison Manager based in Townsville David Briggs said the AIMS Long-term Monitoring Team surveyed fish populations on the mid and outer shelf reefs in the Townsville region.“Preliminary results from the offshore reefs have shown that an important fish species, coral trout, is now more abundant in the ‘no-take’ Green Zones,” Mr Briggs said.AIMS Research Director Dr Peter Doherty said in the last 12 months AIMS surveyed fish populations on 26 reefs closed to fishing by the rezoning and 25 matched reefs that remained open to fishing. The surveys represent five geographic regions adjacent to coastal communities between Cairns and Gladstone.
“Although five reefs in the Townsville region will not be surveyed until September 2006, preliminary results based on seven reefs that have been done in the region show about twice as many coral trout on the unfished reefs.”
“Because we have seen a similar improvement in coral trout stocks in all the regions surveyed, we believe that this is a real result,” Dr Doherty said.
“It is exciting to see such clear results within two years of the Green Zones being implemented.”
Tackle World Townsville owner Danny Brooks said over the last two years the number and size of grunter has increased considerably in the local area.
“The Sand Island at Bowling Green Bay was once a hot spot for catching grunter and although this area is now a ‘no catch’ zone we have experienced some very good grunter fishing over the past two years outside of this zone.”

http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/corp_site/info_services/media/media_archive/2006/2006_08_29.html

Life under the waters

And no. You are not seeing double. News from only last week.

Fish stocks recovering in Moreton Bay green zones

New research has found more fish in Moreton Bay in south-east Queensland because of an expansion of green zones.

Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones has told Parliament crab sizes are also up since the introduction of the protective measures 18 months ago.

She says research by the CSIRO is promising.

“While the data is preliminary it’s certainly encouraging with mud crabs already larger and more abundant in the green zones than in the adjacent non green zones,” she said.

“The longer a green zone has been in place the more effective it is in protecting mud crabs.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/02/3000816.htm

And recently this article hit the news waves.

Qld artificial reef locations announced

AAP October 3, 2010, 5:22 pm
The locations of Moreton Bay’s final two artificial reefs for anglers have been finalised.
Six artificial reefs are being sunk in areas around Moreton Bay to accommodate for fishing areas lost to the newly implemented Green Zones.
The Queensland government on Sunday announced the final two locations for the six reefs, which are west of Peel Island and to the east of Coochiemudlo Island.
The Peel Island site will cover about 50 hectares, while the Coochiemudlo site will comprise 15 hectares.
Acting Premier Paul Lucas said the reefs would be made up of large concrete reef balls, similar in shape to practice golf balls.
“These two sites are well within the reach of `mum and dad’ fishers in small boats, with at least 10 public boat ramps located within 10km of each site,” he said.
“With the creation of these artificial reefs, we’re ensuring that Moreton Bay remains a great place to wet a line, while still protecting the unique natural values of the marine park.”
Sustainability minister Kate Jones said the two new reefs were in addition to the recently completed Harry Atkinson Reef east of St Helena Island.
“Work is also underway on the design and construction of a further three reefs in offshore waters off Bribie Island, Moreton Island and South Stradbroke Island,” she said.
“These final two sites ensure a good balance across the six artificial reefs to provide a range of new fishing experiences for offshore game fishers, spear fishers and inshore anglers, from the Gold Coast to Bribie Island.”
The six reefs, which will all be completed by mid-2011, will fulfill a $2 million election commitment from the Bligh government.
However, the Bligh government’s Moreton Bay artificial reef program had all but stalled with only one of a promised six reefs completed, the state opposition said.
“Today’s announcement contains nothing new or substantial,” said LNP Member for Cleveland, Mark Robinson.
“Fishers support the reefs, but view them more like a consolation prize than fair compensation for loss of the richest fishing areas of the bay,” Dr Robinson said.

Of course the Moreton Bay conservationists are ecstatic. And so are the recreational fishermen who are also talking up the effect of the 16 artificial reefs the Queensland Government are putting in place, despite the claim of the Mark Robinson.

http://www.fishingworld.com.au/news/artificial-reefs-the-way-of-the-future-

Even the game fishermen who were at odds with the program at the beginning and now reaping the rewards of the programs with not only bigger catches, but larger sized fish and are quite happy. I particular direct you to watch the little video link!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/10/04/3028522.htm

So there you have it. A Green initiative that has been good for business. And for recreational fishing industry. But where are these clams I was talking about? Well you will find him in Parliament. Dr Andrew Longman was elected by the people of Bowman.

He seems to be avoiding the press on this latest news sighting a bad case of lockjaw. A spokesperson for the MP had this to say on his behalf.

Ahh … The Silence of the Clams.

A. Ghebranious   2010              All Rights Reserved

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One Comment
  1. hi!This was a really superb post!
    I come from milan, I was luck to find your subject in bing
    Also I learn much in your topic really thank your very much i will come every day

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