Canal Rocks boat ramp to remain open

Update: March 21, 2019

Recfishwest are pleased to report Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has announced that the Canal Rocks boat ramp will remain open for all users!

A fantastic outcome for fishers in the South West

This is a fantastic win for the South West fishing and boating community who worked hard to ensure that an independent risk assessment was undertaken following concerns of the ramps closure in 2017.

The report from this assessment recommended the Canal Rocks boat ramp remain open for public use, with ongoing works to improve its safety.

This comes as great news on the eve of some of the best fishing and boating weather in the South West. Fishers spend $2.4 billion on fishing annually, and decisions such as this support access to high quality fishing experiences.

Recfishwest were proud to work alongside the community in their endeavour to ensure this important piece of infrastructure remained open for all.

We look forward to seeing some great catches taken out from Canal Rocks this Autumn.

Read the Ministers announcement here.

Update: August 31, 2018

Recfishwest attended a risk assessment workshop in Busselton today along with members of local fishing clubs and sea rescue groups to provide advice on Canal Rocks boat ramp.

The community advocating against the proposed boat ramp closure.

December 14, 2017

Avid followers of our communications would have seen the article published in the November edition of Recfishwest Broadcast outlining the Environment Minister’s plans to close the Canal Rocks boat ramp, located near Yallingup in the states South West.

Although no decision has been made, Recfishwest can report that the following actions have taken place since our last update:

  •  Recfishwest wrote to the Minister in October. We received a response to this letter on December 13.
  •  The Minister has met with representatives from the City of Busselton and has agreed to await a review of the original engineering report that is being conducted by the City.
  •  Recfishwest has lodged a request to obtain the advice the Minister received from Risk Cover which was cited as the reason for closing the ramp.
  • In early December we sent the Minister another letter accompanied with a petition filled out by over 4,000 people.
  • Local member of parliament Libby Mettam presented a grievance in the upper house of parliament.
  • Recfishwest has presented the Minister for Environment and the City of Busselton with an alternative Australian Standard which we believe is more appropriate for open ocean boat ramps.
  • There have been two editorials in the West Australian about this ramp and several letters to the editor proving this is an important issue and with the West Coast Demersal closure finishing on Saturday, December 16 the Minister likely to see what an important asset this ramp is for the community.

Recfishwest will continue to advocate that the boat ramp remains open and will keep our readers informed of any new developments, watch this space.

Recfishwest were proud to work alongside the community in their endeavour to ensure this important piece of infrastructure remained open for all user.

Solution for Derby Barramundi Resource Sharing

Solution for Derby Barramundi Resource Sharing

  • Fishing sectors work together to achieve positive solution
  • High abundances are critical to high value fishing experiences
  • More Barra left in the water for local and visiting fishers

We welcome the recent announcement from Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly, providing improved recreational fishing opportunities off the Derby coast, after the Minister approved the removal of commercial barra netting for King Sound South.

Recfishwest, the local community, WAFIC (Western Australian Fishing Industry Council) and the local commercial Barramundi licence holder have worked together to present this package to Government which resolves conflict between the recreational and commercial fishing sectors.

The issue was not one of sustainability, but rather how the sustainable catch close to town was shared.

High abundances of Barramundi close to the town of Derby are critical for ensuring high value fishing experiences for this iconic Kimberley species.

In an effort to find an outcome which best meets the needs and aspirations of both recreational and commercial interests, Recfishwest and WAFIC conducted a formal mediation process involving community representatives and the commercial fisher in February of this year.

In May, as an outcome of this mediation, Recfishwest and WAFIC finalised a joint proposal to the Minister for Fisheries that proposed a set of agreed principles which included spatial separation between commercial and recreational fishing sectors as a suitable solution.

An important part of this proposal was that the agreed set of principles would be used for determining compensation for any loss incurred by the commercial licence holder, based on historic catch efforts.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland praised all parties involved in negotiating this outcome.

“Today we are pleased to announce that this matter has been resolved in a manner that satisfied all parties, with the use of compensatory funding from the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund,” Dr Rowland said.

“This is the first time that recreational fishing licence money has been used to resolve such a conflict in a specific area and we’re pleased it has been used in this manner that returns benefit to the recreational fishing community.”

This decision sets a precedent for the representational arms of WAFIC and Recfishwest to work with government towards agreed solutions to resource sharing issues.

To read what the Fisheries Minister said, click here.

ENDS

Breaking News – Crab Review

BREAKING NEWS!

A discussion paper release by DPIRD this afternoon calls into question the resilience of crab breeding stocks under current management arrangements and highlights an urgent need to better protect breeding stock.

Recreational fishing surveys since 2011 have clearly shown the blue swimmer crab is far and away the most caught species by fishers around Western Australia.

Particular concerns focus on increasing the protection for mated, pre-spawn female crabs which become highly vulnerable to capture in late autumn, winter and spring.

Recfishwest has held similar concerns for over a decade.

The Department have presented the following options for consideration:
1. Male-only fishery
2. Increase in the Minimum Legal Size (MLS)
3. Reducing fishing effort for all sectors when female crabs are vulnerable to capture
4. Patchwork closures for where female crabs aggregate
5. Broad-scale area closures when females are more vulnerable to capture

Attention is being focussed across the entire resource to ensure all areas of breeding stock vulnerability are addressed and includes all estuaries and ocean fishing for crabs from Perth to Geographe Bay.

In weighing up the options, the Department has identified broad scale seasonal closures (May to Nov) as the most balanced option to achieve the desired objective.

We are pleased to have the opportunity to put forward the community’s views.
Once we have fully digested the discussion paper, we will publish a short online survey, summarising the options and seeking your feedback.

Given that these fisheries account for around 90% of the state’s recreational crab catch, we urge you to have your say.

See the discussion paper summary here: http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/…/public_comme…/fmp288-summary.pdf

Notice of Annual General Meeting of Recfishwest

The Recfishwest 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Tuesday 30 October at the  Fremantle Sailing  Club, 151 Marine Terrace, Fremantle in the State Room commencing at 6.30pm.

At the meeting, members will be asked to:

  • Accept the Minutes of the 2017 Annual General Meeting
  • Accept the annual report and financial statements
  • Appoint an Auditor
  • Vote on special resolution of the Recfishwest Constitution proposed
  • Vote in the Director Election

Included with this notice are:

  1. The meeting agenda
  2. The minutes of the 2017 Annual General Meeting
  3. Special resolution of the Recfishwest Constitution (background paper attached)
  4. Candidate’s background information

Click the link below to view the above items:

Final Notice AGM 2018

Important Information – How to Vote in the Director Election

This year, in an effort to facilitate easier voting, Recfishwest is utilising True Vote to independently conduct the ballot.  You will receive your ballot via email from True Vote when the voting opens on Tuesday 23 October.  If you experience any difficulties, please give our office a call and get in touch with one of our helpful team.  If you want to know more about True Vote, please visit www.truevote.com.au.

ONLY financial members are entitled to vote at the AGM, so please renew your membership if required.  We will have contacted you separately if your membership is due to expire before the AGM.

Please RSVP by email to record your attendance or apologies no later than 5pm Friday 26 October 2018 to info@recfishwest.org.au.

Have your Say on Crabs

Crabbing Review to Look After South West Crabs

  • Management needed for better protection of female crabs
  • Perth to Geographe Bay
  • Community to have their say

Recreational fishing surveys since 2011 have consistently shown Blue Swimmer Crabs are far and away the most caught species by fishers around Western Australia.

A discussion paper released by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) on October 25th has called into question the suitability of current management arrangements for Blue Swimmer Crabs on the lower West Coast and highlighted an urgent need to better protect breeding stocks.

The discussion paper highlights a particular concern about the current level of protection provided to mated, pre-spawn female crabs which become highly vulnerable to capture in late autumn, winter and spring. Recfishwest has voiced concerns about the level of protection provided to mated pre-spawn crabs for over a decade.

DPIRD’s discussion paper has considered the following five options for better protecting crab breeding stocks on the lower west coast: :

  1. Male-only fishery
  2. Increase in the Minimum Legal Size (MLS)
  3. Reducing fishing effort for all sectors when female crabs are vulnerable to capture
  4. Patchwork closures for where female crabs aggregate
  5. Broad-scale area closures when females are more vulnerable to capture

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said attention is being focused across the entire lower west coast crab resource to ensure all areas of breeding stock vulnerability are addressed and includes all estuaries and ocean fishing for crabs from Perth to Geographe Bay.

“Our priority here are the crabs and looking after important breeding stock,” Dr Rowland said.

“Blue Swimmer Crabs are the most caught species in WA by rec fishers, so it’s important to balance protection of the stock with great community fishing experiences with access to high abundances of crabs.”

In weighing up the options, the Department has identified broad scale seasonal closures (May to Nov) as the most balanced option to achieve the desired objective.

Recfishwest have developed an online survey asking people how they want their crab fisheries managed and protected into the future and we will continue to represent the communities views  about how they want this important public resource managed.

Given that these fisheries account for around 90% of the state’s recreational crab catch, we urge you to have your say.

Read the Department’s Discussion Paper here.

 

Restoring the Balance: The 1st Step to Bigger Better Crabs

Media Release, 11 October 2018

  • Recfishwest Vision – Bigger Better Crabs for Peel Harvey
  • Minister Prioritises and Protects Family Fishing Experiences
  • The Right Abundances in the Right Places

Recfishwest welcomes today’s announcement from Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly, to establish a buyback scheme for commercial fishing licences in the Peel-Harvey Estuary. This announcement honours an important election commitment the McGowan government made to recreational fishers.

The Peel Harvey Estuary is the spiritual home of recreational crabbing with thousands of family’s flocking to Mandurah every year to enjoy the experience of catching their own seafood across the summer months.

Recfishwest Operations Manager Leyland Campbell commended the Minister and his actions.

 “Crabbing and fishing in the estuary is the lifeblood of the region and today’s announcement means more Blue Swimmer Crabs and Yellowfin Whiting will be left in the water for fishing families.”

 “Recfishwest have been calling for change to management arrangements in this fishery for over a decade and by honouring their election commitment the McGowan Government are supporting safe, accessible and enjoyable fishing experiences for all West Aussies.”

“The scheme is designed to allocate more Blue Swimmer Crabs and Yellowfin Whiting to recreational fishing families and is a positive first step in bringing big crabs back to the region.” Mr Campbell said.

Recfishwest are happy with the creation of a mechanism allowing recreational fishing licence money to assist with resolving resource reallocation issues. This sets an important and positive precedence for restoring the right balance between commercial and recreational fishing.

Recfishwest looks forward to continuing to work with the Minster and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to ensure greater recreational fishing experiences in the region.

Read Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly’s Media Statement here.

 

Esperance Reef 1 Step Closer

We have an exciting update regarding the development of the Esperance artificial reef.

Local Community Champion Graham Cooper with some of the concrete modules set to be deployed off the Esperance coast in October.

The Australian Government’s Department of Environment and Energy have approved the final piece of the process to get the Esperance artificial reef in the water.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland is excited to receive the final approval and says the reef is due to be deployed in October.

“The Esperance community and Recfishwest have been working for many years to make this dream a reality and now we’re past the final step,” Dr Rowland said.

“We’ve had great support from both State and Commonwealth Governments for this project, along with the Goldfields Esperance Development Commission.”

“The local fishing community rolled up their sleeves and teamed up with reef engineers, Subcon, to build their own 128 module, 150 tonne reef, and now to get this final tick of approval means a lot to the community.”

The funding for the Esperance reef comes from the Goldfields-Esperance Regional Grants Scheme, funded by Royalties for Regions and the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund supported by Recfishwest and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

The reef will provide families in small boats access to safe fishing experiences close to Bandy Creek Boat Harbour and Wylie Bay, with access to fish species such as Pink and Queen Snapper, Nannygai, Breaksea Cod, Samson Fish, flathead, whiting and tuna.

Commonwealth Marine Parks Finally Settled 

After more than a decade of consultation and countless submissions Australia’s network of Commonwealth marine parks has today finally been settled following the defeat of five disallowance motions in the Senate. It was thanks to the cross bench senators who gave the government the numbers to defeat the disallowance motions 29 votes to 36 and save the 2.3million km2 of marine parks the Greens and Labor wanted to remove. Hopefully all political parties will now leave these management plans in place for the next ten years (as intended) and people can finally have some certainty over how and where we can fish.

Thanks to everyone who provided input and came along with us on this journey over the past decade!