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Thursday, 19 July 2012

The wilderness Society South Australia, has made a conscious decision to unfairly attack anglers, recently on their Facebook page they had a number of post that attempted to attack fishing in an attempt to justify marine parks, when some anglers posted up some facts including links to government pages showing that the story was misleading, The Wilderness Society South Australia removed the post and banned the users, not one of the anglers was rule or abusive. Considering that they receive a status as a tax free charity to educate the public it seems ironic that some very, informative posts were removed for no other reasons other than that they were posted by people holding fish.

link to The Wilderness Society South Australia

link to the mentioned story
A recent channel 7 story claiming that the sea lions in South Australia’s west coast are in danger unless we introduce marine parks, from gill nets and rock lobster pots, with video with a baby sea lion tangled in a fishing net, in South Australia.
The original seal in the net in story from May 2008, on a beach in San Diego.
Look familiar?

This is a bigger image of the one posted showing the areas where gill nets have been banned from

In this video channel 7 interviewed a conservationist, named David Letch, there was a David Letch on the WEST COAST MARINE PARKS LOCAL ADVISORY GROUP, in South Australia, he is also a representative of the “Friends of Sceale Bay” Sceale Bay is just south of Streaky Bay still well with in all that green area, as you can see on the map the area is  in a heavy gill net banned area, the Seal Lions he talks about are already protected. 
As for lobster pots they have been modified to significantly reduce the likelihood of sea lion entrapment (bycatch mortality)

Foraging ranges of vulnerable-sized animals were confirmed by use of satellite-linked transmitters and time-depth recorders. Mitigation of this incidental mortality was effected by means of modifying the lobster pots with a sea lion exclusion device within the area of known interaction. The mandatory implementation of this programme resulted in a very high compliance rate (95%) in the first season and was achieved through active consultation and involvement of the industry, and of fishery and wildlife managers.

Another post saying that whales are in danger from humans with a picture of a whale tangled in a fishing net, and unless we create marine parks they would be at risk. The current research tells us the by far the greatest threat to whales and marine mammals is in fact shipping, and our marine park plan does not restrict shipping in any shape, not one of the environmental NGOs mention shipping as a threat to the whales in there marine park submission.

Theirs also another post that Cactus locals support marine sanctuaries to help make waters safer for surfing, by removing fisherman apparently it’s our bait that is drawing in the sharks.
Now considering that a shark fishing ban was introduced  earlier this year , this bans anglers fishing for shark  during daylight hours for South Australian metropolitan beaches in a trial which will run until February 2013, fishers can't use wire traces or hooks larger than 50mm, size 5 hook!

Now if you remove anglers and as they say this will increase the fish numbers, I wonder where the sharks will be. But we all know it’s not about increasing fish numbers, it’s about banning fishing!

Do these posts look like the ones that a group claiming to care about our marine environment would remove and ban the posters, this is a clear example of a group that is on a major anti fishing campaign, this has very little to do with offering protection for our marine environment.  

Its time this stops we need to let these people understand they can’t get away with this sort of blatant misleading information.


  1. Both the whale post and the sea lion posts have been removed from The Wilderness Society South Australia page, thank you everyone for your time to make our point and point out that the information was false, its time this sort of dishonest campaign is stopped and the only way we will achieve this is to be vigilant, and when we see it to get straight on top of it, WE ARE NO LONGER A SOFT TARGET!

    If anyone sees dishonest information in the media, online or anywhere send an email to we_fish& and let us know.

  2. Their claims are so wrong its not funny. How about we start alligning them with the Pirates of the Sea Shepard or the eco terrorists of the USA or the blatant vandals of Greenpeace. Yes sure there are some fisher who plunder stocks but they are breaking the law just the same as the conservatioists who destroy the property of others to try to prove their point. If they are stupid enough to try and tar us with the 1 brush I think we give it right back to them. Mental makes up a big part of environmental. Thanks for your efforts in staightening things out

  3. This is the response from The Wilderness Society regarding the events of these posts.

    The Wilderness Society South Australia Sorry we are unable to put the posts back as the nature of Facebook is.

    To be clear. (please read above post) We are not antifishing. We are pro conservation. No hidden agenda no lies. Marine conservation is well behind where it is needed to ne in our state. Fisheries management is NOT marine conservation and many fishers confuse the 2.

    We consciously removed the post because of language and that we are familiar with the people and the open way they attack environmental advocates in numerous forums which support of marine parks -
    we want a safe space for our community to feel comfortable in expressing there opinion. We also don't want to creating a fighting space on our page for those opposed to marine parks.

    There are many forums and pages for this - including the governments we say - which I encourage people to seek information.

    This page is for Wilderness Society supporters.

    Again trying to portray anglers in a bad light, I have screen shots of almost every post posted by anglers not one used bad language, some asked questions to clarify the data, other pointed out the inaccuracies in the story and some posted other concerns and threats the sea lions and whales face, all in all I would have thought all relevant information for anyone concerned about these two species or protection any of our marine species.