Victorian Fishing Trips
Yesterday, (2-6-2010) VADA organised an extensive survey to try and locate the AVG virus front. The surveys were commenced significantly further to the east of the Cape Otway (last sighting of the virus) to try and locate the active AVG virus front for the collection of laboratory samples and to gauge the impacts (if any) on abalone populations. The last extensive survey was completed on the 5-3-2010 (at which time no active virus was located) Surface conditions were reasonable, there was a moderate swell, but very little wind, overhead conditions were overcast with sunny breaks. Underwater visibility was excellent, but conditions on the bottom were a bit pushy, particularly in the shallows 14 sites were completed, from as far East as the Kennett River (see Maps) to the vicinity where the active virus was last observed at Cape Otway. The survey sites included Kennett River, Grey River, Cape Patton, Sugar Loaf, Petticoat Creek, Bunbury Point, Bald Hill, Parker River, Point Franklin and Cape Otway.
All sites were very healthy with good numbers of fish in all size classes, abalone over the VML/LML were less plentiful on the sites east of Bald Hill, a sign of the fishing which occurred in that area towards the end of last season. All sites held plenty of up and coming stock, there were no signs of viral activity past or present and no fresh shell was found. In Summary, the survey failed to show any signs of active virus, nor any signs of past virus activity between Kennett River and the Cape Otway lighthouse.
The areas to the west of Bald Hill have been voluntarily closed to commercial abalone fishing (now with the use of a Fisheries Notice) since the virus was located in December, 2009. In March, this year the industry conducted 2 intensive resource workshops which resulted in the production of a 28 page report to government describing the resource situation. This resulted in the further reduction in TACC of approximately 140 tons from the Central Zone.
It was agreed at both the workshops that the areas would remain closed for bio-security and resource sustainability reasons until September, 2010 when an assessment would be made as to research, AVG virus activity and allocated catches. The industries resource workshop is to be held on the 24th of September.
VADA has develop a new GPS, depth, temperature, date and time logger in cooperation with a NZ manufacturer and the NZ Paua industry Association. The first 30 units should be arriving in Victoria by the end of next week. Also, VADA is currently finalising the design of an underwater measuring logger which is designed to measure abalone underwater in situ, minimising stress on abalone while conducting resource surveys. These 2 pieces of equipment will assist significantly in the assessment of the abalone resources in the virus affected areas allowing industry to collect significant baseline data as to the actual resource present at various locations.
Additionally, VADA is currently developing an abalone resource recovery plan to present to the Government which will include a structured approach to recovering affected abalone reefs, while ensuring a sustainable abalone industry.
VADA still has supplies of of viru-kill which is distributed free to all commercial and research divers. If you are running short of supplies I have organised several locations around Melbourne, Geelong and the Mornington Peninsula where they can be picked up. Free truck wash is also available at these locations. Recently, VADA also supplied 55 bottles (and specification sheets) to DPI for distribution to their coastal offices, to ensure availability, in order to assist in the response of any suspect reports.
We have been renewing and replenishing the warning signs and pamphlets for the whole area from Apollo Bay to Port Campbell to ensure continued awareness. This will be concluded prior to the commencement of the school holidays.
It is still of major concern that human activity will transport the virus over the sand areas. This is particularly important as the outbreak at Cape Otway has shown.
Commercial abalone divers remain excluded from the areas. The exclusion zone is from Bald Hill west to Warrnambool for the commercial abalone divers. For everyone’s information, To date, this exclusion by commercial divers has been in place since February, 2007, a total of 33 months, and now extends over 125 kilometres distance of coast. Extending from Warrnambool to the Bald Hill area.
VADA is still recommending no fishing, harvesting or diving in the area, until we can confirm no remaining active virus is present. We will also continue to conduct the monitoring surveys over the next few months.
As previously reported, there has been no further Westerly spread of the AVG virus from Cape Bridgewater since December 2007.
VADA would once again like to thank the Rock Lobster industry, other commercial fishers, and the recreational fishers who are steering clear of the location. In particular we have received strong support from VR Fish and the Australian Kayak Fishing Forum. It was with your help and support that we were able to make the best of this opportunity.
As usual the survey divers conducted full biosecurity wash downs prior to leaving the infected areas, and the vessel and equipment will undergo full procedures of disinfecting and drying over several days.
VADA would like to remind everyone that:
Biosecurity is of great concern, and everyone is requested to ensure that they wash their vessels and/or equipment between each fishing location. A lot of the large jumps in distance of this virus can be linked to human activity.
All commercial and recreational fishers should ensure that they clean their fishing gear and equipment between prior to changing fishing locations. This includes using detergent to wash down fishing vessels, equipment and dive gear.
VADA recommends that there should be no human activity in areas known to have active AVG virus in them.
The VADA website keeps an up to date map of the virus location and people can check the website if unsure. Codes of Practice and bio-security information can be located on the VADA website at http://www.vada.com.au/ and follow the links. For further information you can contact Vincent Gannon on 0418 292 004 or at email@example.com
VADA Web Site UpDates
Click on the following links to know more
1. Added markers on the virus map
2. MOU page re. closures, added links to the relevant reef code maps.
3. Changed the reef code maps at the western end to reflect the virus.
http://www.vada.com.au/MAPS/ReefCodes/P ... 0River.htm (26-3-09)
Ph. (03) 5529 2001
Fax. (03) 8660 2755
Mob. (0418) 292 004
Portland. Vic. 3305
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