Home' Ausmarine : April 2010 Contents © BAIRD PUBLICATIONS LTD 2010
Baird Publications Pty Ltd,
ABN 19 005 430 884
Printed by: York Press, Melbourne
135 Sturt Street
Southbank, Melbourne 3006
PH: +61 3 9645 0411
FX: +61 3 9645 0475
Chairman and Editor-in-Chief: Neil Baird
Administration Director: Rose Baird
Editor: Steven Kelleher BA Hons
Assistant Editor: Janice Chernli Teo BA
Pre-Press: Peter Hands
BANGKOK: Kanakporn Sapraset; Sathita
U-Samran; BEIJING: Jia Yong Zhi ; BRISBANE: Bill
Beecham, Dick Lee; DALIAN: Tina Haishen;
FREMANTLE: Mike Brown; HANOI: Ngo Khac Le;
HOBART: Jon Wallis; JAKARTA: Chris Stowers;
MANILA: Roger Tritton; NEW ZEALAND: Dominic
Andrae; Peter Morgan; PAPUA NEW GUINEA:
Philip Priestley; PORTLAND: Richard Oakley;
PORT LINCOLN: Hagen Stehr; SEATTLE: Mark
Clevenger; ST. PETERSBURG: Yuri Seleznev;
TOKYO: Ikuya Ohtagaki; TORRES STRAIT: John
Foley; ULLADULLA: Barry McRoberts;
VANCOUVER: Campbell Baird; VLADIVOSTOK:
Daphne Cham Ming Sheung LLB, PostGrad Dip Mgt.
135 Sturt Street, Southbank,
Melbourne 3006, Australia.
PH: +61 3 9645 0411
FX: +61 3 9645 0475
Liu Xiaosu (Sue) LLB, MIB
One year: Australia $105*, Overseas $120;
Two years: Australia $185*, Overseas $220;
Three years: Australia $275*, Overseas $300.
*Includes 10% GST for Australian subscribers
Registered by Australia Post.
Publication No.VBP 2846.
The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics Outlook
Conference held in Canberra last month effectively tolled the death knell of
Australia's fishing industry as we knew it.
"In 2007-2008, Australia became a net importer of seafood products in value terms
for the first time," ABARE's Fisheries Manager, Robert Curtotti, told the Conference.
Delegates were also told that: "The gross value of Australian fisheries production has
declined by around 30 percent in real terms over the course of this decade."
It was rather ironically and painfully amusing for me to read that one of the
Conference speakers Ewan Colquhoun of Ridge Partners, said the " ... fishing industry
should have the opportunity to better inform the decision making process ... ".
After 30 years of almost continually hectoring the fishing industry to "better inform
the decision making process", it was difficult for me to suppress an expletive or two.
The problem with the fishing industry in Australia and, indeed, in most so-called
western developed nations is that it has utterly failed to do that.
The main reason for the apparently terminal decline in the Australian fishing
industry is not the organisational or lobbying brilliance of the bureaucracy, scientists or
extreme green movement. No, they have been handed the fishing industry on a platter
by the supine indifference to its future of the industry itself.
The Australian fishing industry, tragically, did not have the collective guts or nous
to fight its way out of a wet paper bag. It could not unite or fight in even the most
half-hearted way. Apart from a handful, Australian fishermen were not prepared to put
their money where their mouths are.
They were not even prepared to put aside what would have been peanuts to fund a
worthwhile lobbying and PR campaign to protect their once lucrative lifestyles. Their
failure to invest in lifestyle insurance of that kind has led inevitably and inexorably to
the loss of that lifestyle.
The ABARE Conference made that starkly clear. The real value of Australian Fisheries
exports, it said, has declined by 44 percent since 2000-01.
That, in my view, is a totally unnecessary tragedy for both the fishing industry and
for the whole country. It was all so easily predictable, so readily preventable and so
carelessly allowed to happen.
ABARE's figures, of course, only tell part of the story. It is certain in my view, to get
worse. It is only a matter of time before the Houtman Abrolhos, for example, become an
MPA. That will knock out about a third of the West Australian lobster industry.
It is not difficult to imagine that by 2015 the once great Australian fishing industry
will not even rate a mention at the ABARE Outlook Conference. It probably won't
On the other hand, there's good maritime
The fishing industry may well have declined but other parts of the maritime industry
have surged ahead over the past decade. This has particularly happened over the past
four or five years.
Offshore oil and gas exploration and development have boomed. They continue to
boom. That sector alone is worth many times what the fishing industry was worth even
at its peak. There is, it seems, much more to come from that sector.
At the same time we are seeing new announcements made, almost weekly, about
new or enlarged port developments. These relate to the massively increasing exports of
iron ore, coal, natural gas and other minerals.
Some of them are stupendously large and all involve considerable maritime activity.
That extends from dredging, pile driving, pipe laying and jetty building to tug and pilot
The current boom in the maritime industry around Australia is the largest, by far, yet
seen. It is a very exciting time to be aboard.
BUREAUCRACY AND GREENS
10 -- FISHING INDUSTRY NIL
EDITORIAL APRIL 2010
Links Archive March 2010 May 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page