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, 3 October 2012

VNPA the experts

Simon Branigan Marine and coastal project officer with the Victorian National Parks Association, and also on the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC), to investigate the outcomes of the establishment of Victoria's existing marine protected areas. 
Interviewed by abc Rachel Carbonell.

“Port Phillip Bay is incredibly important. There's around 100 sort of endemic dolphin species within the bay, which are unique to the bay environment and there's a number of different tourism operations that are linked to those dolphins as well.”

Looks like the VNPA has discovered 68 new species of dolphins!

According to numerous reliable sources there are just over 30 species of dolphins globally? the Bottlenose dolphin, the Killer Whale, the Common dolphin, the False Killer Whale, the Hector's dolphin, the Short-Finned Pilot Whale, the Commerson's dolphin, the Long-Finned Pilot Whale, the Black dolphin, the Atlantic Humpbacked dolphin, the Haeviside's dolphin, the Indo-Pacific Humpbacked dolphin, the Southern Right Whale dolphin, the Tucuxi, the Northern Right dolphin, the Pygmy Killer Whale, the Spotted dolphin, the Melon-Headed Whale, the Atlantic Spotted dolphin, the Irrawaddy dolphin, the Striped dolphin, the Rough-Toothed dolphin, the Spinner dolphin, the Risso's dolphin, the Clymene dolphin, the Fraser's dolphin, the White-Beaked dolphin, the Peale's dolphin, the Atlantic White-Sided dolphin, the Hourglass dolphin, the Pacific White-Sided dolphin and the Dusky dolphin.

I think here Simon is admitting that a three of the marine parks in Victoria have failed to protect the species they were designed to protect.

“SIMON BRANIGAN: Well recently the giant kelp was listed as an endangered species under the EPBC Act by the Federal Environment Minister. Giant kelp was once distributed in places in the bay such as Point Lonsdale and (pope’s eye) and also outside of the bay in an area like the Barwon Bluff Marine Sanctuary.”

If you read the VNPA submission into the VEAC Victorian marine parks review, for Point Lonsdale (page 19) an Pope’s eye (page 20) under the assessment they have quote

“Issues: None: stated objectives and values met by present boundaries and level of protection”
Nothing at all about the Giant kelp,But they do say on (page 51)

Pope’s eye (Page 51)

Compared to the rest of Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park, Pope’s Eye had 4-10 times the fish

species abundance of other sites. Pope’s Eye has been a fully protected MPA since before the

monitoring program started.
It is characterised by higher species richness than any other monitored site.
The abundance of Southern Hula fish at Popes Eye has increased since 2000 and is approaching
densities not recorded since the initial survey in 1998.

Other observational data collected during the Reef Watch Fish Count for Pope’s Eye includes

Scalyfin was consistently found in high numbers at Pope’s Eye (this site is well known for its resident
population of Scalyfins and their somewhat aggressive behaviour towards divers).
Old Wife has been recorded in consistently high numbers.
Blue-throat Wrasse has been recorded at 26 of the 39 fish count sites, but in quite variable numbers
across the years, except for at Pope’s Eye where it is always seen in quantities greater than 20.

Pope’s Eye is a manmade structure, ARTIFICIAL REEF, as far as I am aware the principle with the CAR model of marine parks is to protect our natural habitat, not sure how an artificial reef falls under that category, but it is interesting to note that it has far exceeded all our natural fully protected natural environments, maybe that something we should look at VNPA?  

Point Lonsdale (Page 51)

According to evidence collecting by Don Love through his Reef Life Surveys, the following observations have been made:

Fish species have increased significantly in size and numbers since the cessation of both recreational

and commercial fishing in 2002.

Increasing numbers of young immature crayfish have been observed.

It’s interesting to note that Pope’s Eye is a manmade structure, AN ARTIFICIAL REEF. I far as I was aware the CAR principle, is designed to protect natural habitat!

But nothing at all about the Giant kelp

Then we have their view on fishing on (page 65)


According to the NCR, fishing has the most profound influence on marine natural values in Victoria. All large and edible species have been reduced dramatically in biomass and abundance since European settlement.
Overall, fishing pressure occurs at or above ecologically sustainable levels throughout all marine habitats, excepting the larger marine national parks. The size and boundary location of many smaller parks and sanctuaries are unlikely to significantly reduce fishing pressure.
Our understanding of the ecological impacts from commercial fishing has steadily increased over the last century. Mechanisms for managing these impacts have also improved, with the ecological sustainability of commercial fisheries continuing to improve. However, substantially less attention has been given to the ecological impacts of recreational fishing, despite its popularity.
There is a tendency for threats such as recreational fishing to be considered in isolation, but their ecologicalinfluence can generally be both ecologically significant and broad in scope. From the data that has been collected for some of the popular recreationally targeted fin fish species, the recreational catch of snapper in Victoria is estimated to be over 332 t, more than three times the commercial catch of 108 t.66 67 A similar story exists for King George Whiting (215 t recreational, 166 t commercial) and Black Bream (200 t recreational 58 t commercial).
There is a broad set of potential ecological impacts from both commercial and recreational fishing. These can include the entanglement of wildlife in fishing gear, translocation of marine pests, habitat impacts from vessels or trampling, and changes to community composition through trophic interactions. Importantly, these impacts are rarely assessed in detail for the recreational sector compared to the commercial sector.
As noted in the NSW Marine Park audit, in general exploited species increase in size and abundance after the removal of fishing pressure, even in well-managed fisheries68 69 with the subsequent indirect effects on ecosystem function through non-target species. 70 71 However, exceptions can occur, notably in invertebrate species such as abalone, which sometimes trend downwards largely due to predator-prey interactions.

Furthermore the audit states that A strong case can be made for sanctuary areas to achieve specific outcomes such as habitat refuges for vulnerable and threatened species or life-history stages, scientific reference sites, cultural sites and eco-tourism.
Similar to the recommendation contained in the scientific audit of marine parks in NSW, the Victorian Government needs to improve understanding of the threats that fishing poses to conservation biodiversity in Victoria and the environmental values of the MPA network.

No comments:

Post a Comment