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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The below was posted to Ausfish this morning and I thought it might of been of interest to some on here also. I've written to my local member voicing my disgust at the practice of netting tailor and mullet schools whilst they are in spawning aggregations requesting changes. If you feel strongly about this type of thing then I suggest you do the same, the more voices there are the louder they get.

Long term monitoring of tailor populations in the Fraser Island and Cooloola region reveal that this once abundant and iconic species has declined to dangerously low levels. Commercial yields since 1988 have gradually reduced to unprecedented lows for the years 2011 and 2012 with no indications that 2013 will see any improvement. Recreational catches along the entire eastern seaboard of Australia replicate commercial yields and the impacts to tourism of this may be felt for many years to come and particularly in Queensland.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry, John McVeigh, stated in 2012 that tailor populations are recovering with more mature fish now prevelant in the system and that the species is being sustainably fished. Mr McVeigh also says that annual monitoring of species of commercial or recreational importance ensures the future sustainability of Queensland's fisheries.

Recreational fishing advocate and marine conservationist Lindsay Dines believes that Mr McVeigh is being fed incorrect information by Fisheries Queensland and that there is no evidence whatsoever that tailor are being sustainably fished or their population recovering. "On the contrary" said Mr Dines, "all the evidence points towards a species in serious trouble and managers who either do not know what they are doing or have agendas that enable a continuation of commercial fishing for tailor and other species when this is clearly not sustainable".

Mr Dines supported his claims with graphs of commercial tailor yields from the Fraser Island and Cooloola region (attached) which are recognised as key spawning locations for this iconic species. "It is no longer viable for the pros, and anglers are heading interstate to where they feel they are a better chance of catching fish" says Mr Dines. He adds that the documented smaller size of tailor compared to the 1970s is now being recognised as a sign of overfishing in harvested species overseas. "We know that the tailor have shrunk, we know that commercial yields have collapsed, we know that anglers are having all sorts of difficulty finding tailor of legal size, but still we are told that everything is fine but without any evidence at all presented to support this assurance".

Based on the commercial yields shown in the graphs presented by Mr Dines, I would also have to think that everything is not as rosy as the Minister and Fisheries Queensland would have us believe. Annual yields in the Fraser Island and Cooloola region that ranged between 17 and 100 tonne and averaged over 60 tonnes per year up to 2000, range between 3.2 and 40 tonne after 2000 with an average annual yield of just 23 tonnes. The 2011 and 2012 yields of 6 tonne and 3.2 tonne respectively for all of Fraser Island and Cooloola are an obvious indicator that all is not well. "These low yields are not as a result of less effort on the part of the pros" Mr Dines assures me. "In fact, there is more effort dedicated to their catching tailor than there ever has been" he said.

Mr Dines also has concerns about seabirds such as Australasian gannets and several species of tern which are heavily reliant on tailor to herd baitfish to the ocean surface where the seabirds can access their prey. "Australia is a signatory to international treaties set up for the protection of several species of tern, yet we overfish tailor to the point where they can no longer provide food for the terns". "Only one thing can result and that is the depletion of tern populations" Mr Dines said when contacted this morning. "We must urgently put in place measures to stop further depletion of tailor stocks and allow the actual recovery of their population" he insists. "It may not be too late, but if we don't do something very soon, the likelihood of any recovery diminishes year by year".
 

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That is alarming news. Surely fisheries are concerned?

Jimbo and I were just discussing yesterday the absence of above legal tailor at Redcliffe the past two years (we keep getting 30 - 37 cm fish, noticeably worse this year than last.). This appears to be part of a much bigger picture, a picture which is not pretty. I'll make sure Sunfish have this info.

Thanks Kev.
 

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Remember the Stop Netting Tailor in Qld stickers?

They came off my computer.

The only good results from that campaign came when netting tailor was stopped on Fraser Island.

I abhor the thought that lots of tailor end up as cat-food.

Jimbo
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry to break it to you Jim, but they still net Fraser, but it is now restricted to North Ngkala to around the top of the Cape and south between Tooloora Ck and Hook Point. This leaves most of the eastern beach untouched but still affected by beach netting. The netters at the Cape even have a permanent camp set up there.

Ever heard people come back from Fraser and say how beautiful it is up the Cape but then in the same sentence complain about the crappy fishing? Well the nets are the reason for this. Locals on the island won't fish north of Ngkala unless they know the nets haven't been shot for a few weeks and then they will only have a brief window before the netting starts and the fishing shuts down again.

Kev
 

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Kev... I've just got the word on tailor fishing on Fraser Island...

The ocean beach on Fraser Island is closed to the netting of tailor... the commercial fishermen can however, net for mullet.

If you see them netting tailor, please get photographic evidence and GPS marks.

Cheers Kev...

Jimbo
 

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Lazybugger said:
Beekeeper said:
Remember the Stop Netting Tailor in Qld stickers?

They came off my computer.

The only good results from that campaign came when netting tailor was stopped on Fraser Island.

I abhor the thought that lots of tailor end up as cat-food.

Jimbo
Maybe Catfood is the area to target. Lets face it its not just our inshore fisheries, its tuna stocks and others and its a worldwide problem. Saltwater fish is not the natural prey item of a domestic cat. As far as I can tell from our family cat the natural prey item is the local possum. Possum flavoured whiskas. Yummo.

But seriously outlaw domestic and imported fish based cat food and you would cut off the demand. Australia could lead the way. Hopefully Hugh Fearley Whatshisface who runs the British/EU fishfight campaign could add it to his list of priorities.
Missed this post previously - this is a pet peeve (pardon the pun) for me.

The world has diminishing ocean fish stocks, and we as a nation have a carp problem.
Outlawing the use of ocean species in pet food would improve both situations.
Even if economics dictate that the carp was sourced from farmed stock, it would still be a positive.
 

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Jeffen said:
Missed this post previously - this is a pet peeve (pardon the pun) for me.

The world has diminishing ocean fish stocks, and we as a nation have a carp problem.
Outlawing the use of ocean species in pet food would improve both situations.
Even if economics dictate that the carp was sourced from farmed stock, it would still be a positive.
I used to live in Albury Wodonga where there is an Uncle Bens.
At one time carp were tested for potential cat food, the test cats wouldn't eat it.
Also heard there may have been a problem in processing, Carp scales clogging up the machines.
Charlie Carp have been somewhat successful in making something out this Pest.
I have seen them so thick around Table Top and Bowna in the Hume weir when spawning in spring that you could walk on top of the water , this would be the ideal time to net them out of the system, Run a big net around them hook it up to a couple of tractors and drag the bastards out., I don't know what you'd do with them after that.
My mate has chooks, we used to throw them a carp every now and then and they would demolish it. Best eggs with the brightest yokes you've ever seen.
 

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If a cat is made hungry enough....

Surely it is time we stopped spoiling these furry murderous bastards.

Point taken on processing problems, and I've followed Charlie Carps efforts - a good bloke trying to make something positive out of a pest.
The chook anecdote is interesting - hopefully a market can be made from that.
Or maybe we should feed cats to the chooks :) Problem solved in a different way.
 

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One of the problems with business people using carp for cat-food... they will never totally eliminate the species... the business would fold... no fish left, no money coming in.

Human nature at its best/worst.

Jimbo
 
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