Home' Ausmarine : October 2016 Contents FISHING NEWS
All change for commercial fishing in the Coral Sea
Commercial fishing operators in the Coral Sea are worried about
what the future holds as the world's largest marine park threatens
to become a reality.
The proposed commonwealth marine reserve in the Coral Sea is
set to cover almost one million square kilometres of Australia's ocean
according to the revised zoning maps released for consultation.
The recommendation to reduce the “no take” zone in the
Coral Sea from 51 to 41 per cent has alarmed conservation
groups in spite of the fact that the United Nations
Convention for Biodiversity has set a benchmark of 10 per cent.
Professor Colin Buxton, the chairman of the independent
review panel, said across Australia's network of marine
reserves the average “no take” area remained at one third.
Fishermen in the Coral Sea are still trying to
estimate the potential impact on their businesses of the revised
z oning areas.
Eyre Shellfish to open in South Australia
The biggest oyster hatchery in Australia is working towards
opening a new hatchery in Cowell on the Eyre Peninsula,
South Australia, according to a report from ABC Rural, to
combat the effect of Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS)
on its business. The hatchery will be called Eyre Shellfish and
should have a capacity of around 400 million spat a year.
Eyre Shellfish will become the third hatchery in SA, joining the
two existing hatcheries that have been called upon to increase
their output in recent months to offset the shortfall from
Tasmania. The new hatchery is also expected to provide 11 new
jobs to the area.
POMS has had a detrimental effect on the Tasmanian oyster
industry as a whole leading to a shortfall of spat to the rest of the
country and therefore more new hatcheries are needed with
Some hatcheries reported that 70 per cent of their business was
wiped out by POMS earlier this year and that it could take up to
two years to regain the lost ground.
Increasingly aggressive seal behaviour in South Australia has
prompted the fishing community to contemplate drastic action.
The most recent manifestation of this will see firecrackers
detonated underwater by professional fishing crews in order to
scare fur seals from the lower Murray and Coorong regions, south
of Adelaide. It is hoped that the firecrackers will create underwater
shockwaves and scare the seals away.
During the early 1980s experts at Oregon State University in the
USA published a paper called An acoustic harassment technique to
reduce seal predation on salmon, which concluded that seals were far
more sensitive to noise than fish, hence continuing efforts to use
loud noises and vibration to discourage seals.
The Environment Department has undertaken tests with crews
on fishing boats in the Coorong in recent weeks. “Results from the
cracker trial suggest that they could be an effective tool to assist
with managing interactions between long-nosed fur seals and the
(Lower) Lakes and Coorong fishery. Work is now underway to
ensure that all fishers who wish to use the crackers are receiving
appropriate training and the necessary permits,” the department is
quoted as saying.
Recent years have seen seal numbers increase and fishermen
have reported that this is now threatening their livelihoods as the
aggressive fur seals tear their nets in order to eat the fish inside.
Underwater firecrackers in South Australia to be used to scare fur seals
12 October 2016 AUSMARINE
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