THE GULL has been a contributor to the Queensland Seafood magazine for decades. I hope you enjoy THE GULL’S views on the introduction of camera / surveillance technology in Queensland commercial fisheries.
You may not agree with THE GULL but that’s ok – we live in a democracy and THE GULL is applying one of the most fundamental rights we have, the right to free speech.
So enjoy and stay tuned for more insights from THE GULL who casts a cynical eye and wry smile over fisheries management issues. An additional note, when possible I will add some links to previous news posts to help expand on an issue or provide a link to a story that helps expand on what THE GULL has discussed, regards Eric Perez, CEO, Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA).
THE Queensland Government has given fishing representative bodies and individual professional fishermen from the Gold Coast to the Gulf of Carpentaria common cause: everybody’s opposed to the plans for savage fishing cutbacks.
Sensible men and women who have worked a lifetime in this industry cannot see the logic in the State Government plan to slash catches when current catches are perfectly sustainable.
Experienced researchers like Professor Robert Kearney agree Queensland’s current catches are overwhelmingly sustainable. Where there are any concerns –like with snapper and pearl perch– temporary restrictions on fishing should bring the numbers back up.Scallop numbers are also down at the moment apparently but I defy any fisheries biologist to predict why, when and how scallop populations come and go (and I say that having watched them try for 30 years).
It’s some consolation I suppose that not just us fishermen but also farmers and foresters seem to be suffering from heavy-handed government rules and restrictions.
I know the State Government has had a pretty strong focus on inner-city transport and public service bonuses but here’s a secret: the real wealth of Queensland is produced by people out in the regions working hard in primary industry, mining, tourism and other industries that turn resources into products.
Our wealth isn’t produced in George Street. It’s just spent there.
CAN someone in authority please show the fishing industry the scientific basis for the State Government’s push for fish stocks to be 60 per cent of the unfished biomass.
Hard as I have looked, pretty much the only people I have seen arguing in favour of the 60 per cent figure are environmental activists like the Australian Marine Conservation Society, people who are philosophically opposed to any commercial fishing.
Note: A full discussion by Professor Kearney discussing the introduction of a 60 per cent unfished biomass target and the poor policy thinking behind the Queensland government’s so-called fisheries reform process can be found here: Queensland Seafood magazine No 3, pp.10-13
Author: THE GULL, Queensland Seafood magazine No 3, p.39.
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