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Publication No.VBP 2846.
Hardly a week goes by without our learning of another huge new discovery or
development along the West Australian coast.
This week, for example, Chevron announced the discovery of a significant new gas
deposit alongside their already huge Gorgon project. The joint really is jumping.
There are now well over 100 billion dollars worth of new projects confirmed for the
West Australian coast over the next five years. Of course, these must be offset against
the sad and savage decline of the once mighty fishing industry, not that the amounts
concerned are in anyway comparable.
While these, mostly very long term, projects have been coming to fruition, there has
been a slow but steady decline in the number of ship and boat builders and their
suppliers in the State. This consolidation, obviously, has benefitted the surviving
companies quite significantly.
Although the number of players has been reduced, their standard of quality and
innovation have remained high. If you want an economical, efficient, safe fast vessel or
an innovative workboat, you should look at Western Australia.
Much the same situation applies to their equipment and to offshore service
suppliers. Their levels of innovation are high. Their customers benefit in many ways.
Perhaps this consolidation reflects a mature industry but only in the sense of
capability. It is a long way from maturity or ossification in terms of innovation.
Since I announced our Ausmarine 2010 event in last month's Ausmarine magazine
we have received a very gratifying response. This has come from exhibitors, government
and from likely visitors, almost all of whom are vessel owners or operators.
It has been particularly exciting to note the high level of exhibitor interest from
interstate and overseas. Western Australia can certainly claim to be the "State of
Japanese tuna thieves should
In yet another example of the appalling treatment of Australia's fishing industry
by government, we have seen Australia's tuna fishers penalised for the crimes of
Japan's highly organised and, obviously, well connected poachers.
The catch quotas for southern bluefin tuna have been slashed on the basis of some
very spurious science. Following highly secretive government to government discussions
in Korea, Australia's tuna fishers have seen their catch quotas drastically reduced.
Strangely, and very unfairly, the Japanese, who criminally overfished the species for
years have been let off very lightly. If there is in fact any shortage of SBT, our politicians
and bureaucrats should realise and accept that it is the Japanese poachers who have
It is ludicrous that Australia's generally law abiding fishermen should have to pay
the penalty for the crimes of the Japanese. If there really is a genuine concern about SBT
stocks, a fairer solution would be to reduce the Japanese quota to zero for, say, ten years
and leave the Australian quota where it was.
As usual, Australia's Canberra based "world's best fisheries managers" have badly let
down the industry that they are paid to support and develop.
More excitement in the "West"
EDITORIAL JANUARY 2010
Baird Maritime -- Almost up to service speed!
While such an enterprise will never be completely finished,
www.bairdmaritime.com Version 2 is now very close to complete. All is now
working except for the Marine Engines and Propulsion Systems database which
will be available soon. Access is still without charge!
I commend it to you. Join the ever increasing group of maritime
professionals who have discovered its usefulness.
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