Letter to Editor:Election called

Dear All,

Long silence broken following announcement of election: time for action.

I have just posted the following on our Facebook page. If you are a Facebook subscriber, great if you would give it a “Like” and forward it on to others, if not a “user” and I’ll forgive you for that (!) please feel free to forward on. The more likes we get the more attention the topic will receive in the lead up to the election.

Posting follows:

“Suddenly an election is looming: a great time for fishing! It’s now time to gear up to tackle that prize quarry once more – the local QLD State MPs and especially those contesting their seats. We quickly need to decide what bait and tactics to employ before we approach our esteemed quarry.

This normally elusive species, the parliamentary pollie, to use its full name, is most commonly encountered during feeding frenzies immediately prior to the elections. A feature of their survival strategy is that they then so often mysteriously disappear for three years, only popping up occasionally on those most reliable of fish finders, our living room TVs.

Our prize catch of course would be the commitment from our pollies that they would follow up the recent Review of Queensland’s Fisheries Management as soon as they are elected.

We need their assurance that they will change current fishery management measures to ensure all fishing and especially inshore fishing has a rewarding, sustainable and community-friendly future in FNQ. This would be with respect to all sectors, recreational, charter and commercial fishing.

What then is the best bait to capture the attention of the elusive pollie and indeed all those would-be or immature pollies out there? Note: there are no size or bag limits for this species; the more whose attention we can capture, the better.

Rec fishers can out-vote the commercial sector hundreds to one and yet the pollies appear to have taken only the bait offered by a noisy few from a minority in the commercial sector.

The elusive pollies have swallowed the bait, hook line and sinker, to the extent they continue to allow commercial gillnetting and baitnet fishing (and further south, beam trawling) in the most vulnerable of inshore waters and estuaries at the expense of good sustainable fishing.

They also have no means of controlling how much fishing is done in any given area. This is just not good enough for the ? “Smart State”. In the long term our fisheries management uses a lose-lose strategy. Inshore stocks have fallen off drastically in FNQ over the last 20 years and keep falling where netting continues above certain critical levels.

There is very strong, indeed watertight evidence to prove that these gillnet, bait net and beam trawl fisheries are managed with minimal regard for most modern day principles of sustainable and indeed responsible fishing. Votes can change that!

The sudden announcement of the pending Queensland State election woke your scribe from his slumbers after a long period of silence on this page.
Basically we have been waiting with baited breath for both word and action from our State Fisheries Minister, Dr John McVeigh, on the outcome of the Review of Queensland’s Fisheries Management.

This review, as you will see from earlier postings, was announced controversially at very short notice earlier this year and with a very short lead-in period for submission of tenders.

Fortunately McVeigh’s support team did come up with a reputable organisation and an apparently capable and indeed acceptable bunch of guys to do the work: hence the lack of activity on this page. You’ll get more details of who carried out the review by Googling “MRAG Fisheries Review”.
A submission to the Review by your scribe, based on seven years of coordinating the Network for Sustainable Fishing FNQ, can be checked out on the FFC webpage at: http://bit.ly/1xUpDG8

Dr McVeigh assured us the very limited time allocated for the preparation and presentation of tenders for the Review by consultants was due to the need to have management measures in place before the next election, now almost upon us. Will he succeed and in doing so win the gratitude of thousands of rec fishers?

It is important not to let him off the hook before he is weighed and measured.

Be geared up now for a fair bit of traffic, even chatter, on this channel before the end of the month! The bait is being prepared, keep an eye open for the next posting, a list of live bait questions for your local pollies and aspiring political candidates.

A feature of my fishing these days is that I no longer use light tackle, only strong sharp hooks and the freshest of irresistible bait…. watch this space!

Kind regards,
David C. Cook
Coastal Fisheries Specialist (Indo-Pacific)
Moderator, Network for Sustainable Fishing, FNQ
“Triple bottom line benefits for all fishing sectors”