This is the blog page for Australia's Recreational Fishing.
Join us and stay up to date in the fight against those who seek to bully us off our beloved waterways.


Don’t let recreational anglers go unheard and get walked all over.
Time to Start fighting back!
We Fish and We have had enough...
We Want Recognition, Consultation, and a fair go...

email us at

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Bill has passed the senate

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Declared Commercial Fishing Activities) Bill 2012

Has passed to senate, well done to all anglers that stood up and made a difference, we also need to thank the politicians that looked after our interest, forcing amendments to this bill that otherwise could have had very drastic consequences for recreational fisheries in commonweal waters.

I would also like to note that even in the senate the Greens attempted to amend the bill to again include this part that was a huge threat to us, and all anglers should learn from this next time they come knocking on our door for assistance.

The Bill in its original form had the definition of

fishing: any activity involving fishing.

Which would have included recreational fishing! As well as one of the trigger points for the two minister to enact the legislation and bring about a two year ban, was social concern. This threatened ever single commonwealth recreational fishery. Any recreational fishery could have been closed down if a social media group had ran a campaign and showed that there was a social concern with what we do.
These two points had absolutely no effect on banning an activity like the super trawler and was a clear attack on recreational fishing.

So what does this mean? Well an interim notice will be issued to stop the Margiris (officially the name Able Tasman has not been registered as yet) fishing, Seafish Tasmania will be allowed to have their say with a submission, after which point it will be evaluated and then the 2 year ban can be put in place, allowing for more research to be conducted and reviewed, before this trawler can attempt to start fishing again.

Using the EPBC act to stop this trawler and vessels of this type fishing in our waters is not the ideal tool to use and as we have seen, its fraught with dangers, but none the less it’s done. Now the question needs to be asked of Minister Burke, a few years ago the then environment minister, Minister Garrett, used the EPBC act to ban recreational anglers catching Mako Sharks, this came down to our EPBC act failing to meet the intent of the international laws. The government then commissioned a review on the EPBC act, known as the Hawke review, this was handed down in 2009, with in this review were key amendments to avoid what happened with the Mako ban happening again to other species, why has Minister Burke done absolutely nothing about this when he can amend the bill almost overnight to cover up the mismanagement of his government?

Minister Ludwig has issued a review of AFMA and its process, this will need to be looked at very closely, I can assure you that the Greens and their mates will want to have a greater involvement in this review and the running of AFMA in the future, we must now stand with our commercial fishing brothers and sisters to give them all the support they need to avoid this from happening.

One need to look at burkes involvement, when he was the fisheries minister under the Rudd government.

Minister Burke's appointed the AFMA commission and the former New South Wales Treasurer as chairman of AFMA commissioners. last week in the media he claimed that he had no knowledge of the harvest strategy that supports the management of the small pelagic fishery.

Between 2007 when Minister Burke was appointed Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and 2010 when the election occurred, in December 2004 when the AFMA board agreed to develop the fisheries management plan. In October 2005 there was the first independent advisory panel report on quota allocation.
It is at that point in 2008 when the harvest strategy plan was released the concept of a large-scale freezer vessel came into being. The introductory comments to that document canvassed the use of a large-scale freezer vessel as perhaps the most economical way to work in the fishery. In September 2009, a small pelagic fishery management advisory committee recommended the draft management plan to AFMA. In 2009, the harvest strategy was also reviewed. So not for the first time but for the second time a large-scale factory freezer vessel was foreshadowed as part of the management of this fishery.

Minister Burke was fisheries minister during all these process.
In October 2009, then Minister for Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett, wrote to AFMA endorsing the management plan, including the harvest strategy. Not only do we have Minister Burke involved in this process; but then environment minister Peter Garrett wrote to AMFA and specifically endorsed the Small Pelagic Fishery Management Plan and harvest strategy, and he agreed to accredit it under the EPBC Act.

For Minister Burke to say that he had no idea what was is a joke
In December 2009, the Small Pelagic Fishery Management Plan was accepted by Minister Burke. Of course that management plan also refers to the harvest strategy, the document that Minister Burke says he does not have any ownership of. On 6 January 2010, Minister Garrett issued a wildlife trade operation certificate. any native wildlife fish species exported out of Australia needs a certificate to indicate that the fishery is sustainable under the EPBC Act. It is a very wise system and provides a second check that the fishery is sustainable.

In February 2010, the Small Pelagic Fishery Management Plan was tabled in the parliament by Minister Burke. That management plan refers to and incorporates the harvest strategy. So Minister Burke actually tabled this document in parliament, yet last week he denied any knowledge of it. The small pelagic fishery strategic assessment under the EPBC Act was tabled at the same time.

Over a period of time, particularly during the period that Minister Burke was the responsible fisheries minister, we can see significant involvement in the development of the management of this fishery. For Minister Burke now to be saying, 'I didn't know about any of this' and that he had no involvement in this completely BULLSHIT.

AS for our current fisheries minister , Senator Ludwig said just a few days ago “There has been no problem with the science in this instance, there is no deficiency in that regard … AFMA continues to have my confidence for the way it manages and assesses fisheries,’’

Two disaffected members of the fisheries management committee that paved the way for the super trawler to come to Australia had written to him in June pleading that he investigate approval processes to make sure fish stocks were protected.

Senator Ludwig replied in July, writing that the Australian Fisheries Management Authority had advised him the Margiris’ allowable catch had been ’’based on research’’ and declined to hold an inquiry.

The Labor party has been involved in every process to make it possible to bring a trawler like this to Australia, then only when the shit hit the fan did they try and sort it out an in my opinion wether by design or incompetency, almost stich us up in the process.

The Greens only used anglers to further their own agenda, and at every turn attempted to get the upper hand on anglers.

The Liberal party has all along supported the trawler, but did stand up for recreational and commercial anglers, when the amendments posed a serious threat to what we do, but possibly only to score points as opposed to looking after our interests.

The reality is politics sucks! And in this trawler issue anglers became the proverbial football that everyone was kicking around. We as anglers need to unit properly so we have some power and some say in the decisions that affect what we all enjoy doing its that simple.

1 comment:

  1. Its time to take politicians to go fishing!
    Feel free to visit and follow our humble fishing blog in the paradise island of Borneo at: