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

New Artificial Reef Coming to Perth

Do you know that by purchasing recreational fishing boat licences and other fishing licences you are contributing to community driven projects aimed at enhancing your fishing?

 “The RFIF is a great way for the community to benefit from projects that focus on making fishing better. As a previous funding recipient we were able to stock 4.5 million prawns in the Swan River, 22,000 mulloway along the west coast and 100,000 snapper into Cockburn Sound for the people of WA.’ – Greg Jenkins – South Metropolitan TAFE.”

We are now excited to share with you the following projects which were funded by the Fisheries Minister for Round 6 of the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund from 2017.

All of which are community initiatives based on habitat enhancement, stock enhancement, and research and data collection, including smaller community based recreational fishing projects.

  • North Metropolitan Artificial Reef
  • Stocking of Barramundi in Lake Kununurra
  • Guiding Principles for Accessing Urban Waterways
  • State-wide Reef Vision program
  • Determining the Economic value of the recreational salmon fishery
  • Fishability Schools Project
  • Innovative methods for monitoring recreational fishing in Shark Bay
  • Next Wave – Future Leaders in Recreational Fishing
  • Swan River Habitat Restoration
  • Goldenfish Initiative

Here’s what the WA Fisheries Minister had to say about the new projects in his latest Media Announcement: Tuesday, 15 May 2018.

North Metro Reef Highlights Round 6 of RFIF

Perth metro fishers will benefit from the new artificial reef announced as part of the recent RFIF round of funded projects. The final location and design will be undertaken in community consultation with fishing clubs and other stakeholders, which aims to deliver the greatest value to the people.

Depending on the final location and design, this artificial reef may deliver new pelagic fishing opportunities for species such as mackerel, samsonfish and yellow tail kingfish. If it results in more of a demersal focus, we’ll likely see many iconic species such as Pink Snapper, Dhufish and Skippy.

The announcement of a new northern metropolitan reef, comes five years after the deployment of Western Australia’s first ever artificial reef for fishing in Bunbury. Once in the water, the northern metropolitan reef will become WA’s seventh purpose-built artificial reef.

How the RFIF Works

Every year, recreational fishing licence revenue is credited to the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF) which is administered by Recfishwest and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (Fisheries Division). This fund is your fund – money used for projects to make your fishing better!

After a thorough application process, which involves input from the Department of Fisheries, a prioritised list of projects is presented to the Recfishwest Board which then provide recommendations to the Minister for Fisheries of projects that the recreational fishing community of Western Australia would like to see funded.

Barramundi fingerlings release JANUARY 2013

 Applications for these projects which demonstrate the support of local fishers are given preference, while funding will be provided to projects that are beneficial and cost effective to the recreational fishing community.

These projects provide enhancement to WA’s recreational fishing sector and are an example of the fishing community working together with the state government to ensure recreational fishing licence money provides benefits to the sector.

 ‘Funding from the RFIF has enabled us and the help of our volunteers to create a welcoming environment and allow people with disabilities to socially interact, develop self-confidence, develop new skills and gain an appreciation of the environment.’’ – Di Bruce – Fishability.

‘’More money from the RFIF has allowed us to improve awareness of the dangers associated with recreational fishing,  coordinate the rock fishing safety strategy, coordinate with regional representatives to ensure the needs of the local community is addressed and most importantly help bring people home safe.’’ – Graham Couper – Chairman of S.E.C.R.F.C.

 Since 2010, more than 50 projects have funded from the RFIF.  Projects such as the community Snapper Guardians Restocking Project, installing Artificial Reefs, Barramundi Lake Kununurra Stocking program, Fishing Safety Strategy and Fishability which have been a result of YOUR licence money.

This a win for the fishing community and for your fishing!, We thank all those who put forward new initiatives for funding consideration and congratulate those who were successful in Round 6. We look forward to receiving applications in June for the 2018 Round 7 RFIF.

Crab Stocking Trial Project a WA First!

It is hard to find a better way to spend your summer afternoons than wading the estuary flats with a crab scoop in hand. In fact, crabbing for Blue Swimmer Crabs (Portunus armatus) is one of the most popular fishing activities in Western Australia.

Stocking of many of WA’s favourite finfish has occurred across the state with Pink Snapper, Black Bream, Barramundi and Mulloway all being stocked, yet there has been no stocking of crabs. Given their popularity and the importance of crabbing to WA culture, investigating possible stocking options for Blue Swimmer Crabs was identified as a way to enhance crabbing and crab stocks in WA.

Recently the Australian Centre for Applied Aquaculture Research (ACAAR) at South Metropolitan TAFE received a grant from the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF) to identify future restocking options for Blue Swimmer Crabs. Since the culturing of Blue Swimmer Crabs from berried broodstock had never been done in WA, this project would first investigate if this process was feasible, and if successful, result in the first stocking of crabs in WA.

What happened?

Collecting the broodstock
• With assistance from Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) Division of Fisheries, a handful of wild berried broodstock were collected from the Peel Harvey Estuary and transported to ACAAR’s facility in Fremantle
• The berried females arrived full of eggs at an early stage of development when the eggs are still yellow (Figure 1). Conditions and temperature in the tank were then altered to assist the crabs developing their eggs to a later stage where the eggs turn a darker colour and are ready for spawning (Figure 2).

From hatching to release
• Once the eggs hatch, the earliest stages of a crab’s life cycle begins to be visible when viewed through a microscope. This first stage (below) of a crab’s journey is called a Zoea and resembles something more closely out of an Alien movie than of a crab. At this stage, the Zoea have limited ability to move to avoid predators and find food and are at the mercy of their environment. Hatchery conditions and food availability must be carefully managed during this vulnerable stage.

• Day by day the Zoea continue to grow and develop and after 12 days they make their next big transformation as part of their life cycle, metamorphosing into a Megalopa. At this stage they are starting to look much more similar to their parents having grown biting claws and gained the ability swim freely.

• After 19 days from hatching, the project reached an important milestone with the Megalopa undergoing their final metamorphose into a Crablet. This is a dangerous stage in the development of the crabs as the crablets quickly become highly cannibalistic and aggressive, apparently maximising the use of their newly grown claws.

• From the broodstock crabs that contributed to the spawning, the final stage of the projects saw the release of 3700 crablets into the Peel Harvey Estuary.

The success of this WA first project has opened the door to future potential restocking programs for crabs that could play a role in continuing to create great fishing experiences for the WA community forever. A second project, also funded through licence fees aims to release up to 100,000 crabs into Metropolitan waters and start to design a larger scale stocking program for WA.

This project was funded through the RFIF and supported by DPIRD, Division of Fisheries and Recfishwest.

FADs to be Deployed in Regional Fishing Hotspots

Regional fishing hotspots are set to get a boost in 2018 as fish aggregating devices (FAD’s) are deployed in WA regional centres including Exmouth, Geraldton and Albany. With funding from the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund, local communities are working with Recfishwest to deliver FADs. This will diversify fishing opportunities for locals and visiting fishers alike. FAD’s will provide fishers an opportunity to catch fast growing, highly migratory pelagic species.

Recfishwest’s Fishing Development Officer Matt Gillett with a Dolphin Fish caught off Jurien Bay.

Designed to aggregate fish such as Mahi Mahi, Tuna and Billfish, the regional FAD project will see the first FAD installed in 2018. FAD’s have been used successfully throughout Australia, including off the coast of Perth, where the Perth Game Fishing Club deploys FAD’s in November each year. These are accessed regularly by metropolitan fishers and provide high quality fishing for Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Wahoo and Marlin.

Some of these FAD’s will be in reach for regular trailer boat fishers with boats of less than 5 metres to enable them the opportunity to catch highly sought after sport fish.

Recfishwest looks forward to implementing this program and will keep subscribers up to date with progress reported through our Broad Cast and social media platforms.

This project was made possible by the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.

WA Needs More Fishing Heroes!

Our Purpose is to ensure Great Fishing Experiences for all in the WA community forever.
Our Commitment is to Protect, Promote and Develop Sustainable, Accessible, Enjoyable and Safe fishing for the benefit of the community.

Thanks to our current supporters, Recfishwest can continue the fight to keep fishing great in WA.

Our role is to: 
– Be your voice that would not otherwise be heard
– Be the voice of the fish that otherwise goes unheard or ignored
– Keep you informed of all thing affecting your fishing, 24/7; we believe you need to know!
– Strive to ensure you and your family return home safe after a day’s fishing
– Defend your fishing rights when your local fishing spot is under threat
– Fight when access to fishing areas is put at risk
– Roll up our sleeves and find a solution when no one else will.

Contribute to what we do and support us, become a member and let us do the hard yakka on your behalf.  We don’t make profits here at Recfishwest and we make sure all our resources go directly towards our action to protect, promote and develop our fishing environments and to keep you fishing.

To give you an idea of where your support helps us make fishing better:
• Stocking of important recreational fish species around WA, including Pink Snapper, Barramundi, Prawns, Mulloway and Freshwater Trout
• Development, design and deployment of Artificial Reefs in Western Australia
• Development of important fishing research and conservation programs
• Development of WA’s ‘Fish and Survive’ program, to ensure all fishers come home safe after a day’s fishing
• Delivery of WA’s only state-wide fishing clinic program to thousands of kids in both metro and regional areas

A strong membership base allows us to pursue matters that affect your fishing with added confidence knowing you’ve got our back, just like we’ve got yours!

For just 50c per week, you can help us protect and develop fishing experiences in Western Australia, for the community forever.

Recfishwest and Community Work Together to Improve Your Fishing

Recfishwest Community Grants Scheme – Round 7

Recfishwest is proud of the annual Recfishwest community grant scheme. This scheme is an opportunity for community groups to apply for funding to support community projects that make fishing better in WA. Applications for Round 7 of the Recfishwest community grant scheme came from a broad range of community groups including fishing clubs and associations, health care providers, sea rescue groups, local government, environmental groups, men’s sheds and disability advocates.

There were some fantastic applications for fun, exciting and innovative ways to improve fishing experiences. Recfishwest takes great pleasure in providing community groups with the opportunities to make some dreams a reality, and we respect and acknowledge that often these small community groups have the ability to stretch a dollar much further than anyone could think possible.

The partnerships Recfishwest builds with community groups are equally valuable for us in supporting and hearing the wishes of the fishing community and ultimately working together for the goal of making fishing better for West Australians.

Recipients of Recfishwest Community Grant scheme – Round 7 funding include:

1. Mandalay Holiday Resort – To continue their popular family fishing event
2. Fervor – A seafood cook book utilising native Australian bush herbs and spices to complement our local seafood.
3. Fremantle Sailing club – To promote their Calamari Classic event alongside an educational workshop to support the occasion.
4. Fishability – Funding to assist in improving their wheelchair friendly fishing vessel the Nev Thomas.
5. Kalbarri Offshore & Angling Club – To once again support their highly successfully Kid’s Whiting Competition during the school holidays.
6. The Australian National Sportfishing Association WA Inc – Modernising the way in which they collect data for their West Tag program.
7. Esperance Deep Sea Angling Club – To continue the ever popular Family Fishing Fun Day, fishing education and safety as well as improving rock fishing safety infrastructure.
8. Albany Offshore Boating and Fishing Club – Support for their Easter rock fishing safety campaigning at Salmon Holes.
9. Esperance Land Based Fishing Club – A grant has been awarded to help build their annual fishing event.
10. Greenhead Men’s Shed – These local champions have received a grant to go towards the cost of designing, obtaining approvals and construction of a fish cleaning station for the local boat ramp.
11. Surfcasting and Angling Club of WA – The purchase of safety equipment and life jackets for dry casting days and fishing field days.
12. WA Underwater Club – Funding to educate on safe and effective practice for freedivers and spearfishers including regional representation and training course subsidies.
13. Breast Cancer Care WA – Continued support for the Purple Fly Fishing program providing the opportunity for those profoundly affected by breast cancer to enjoy the experience of fly fishing in a serene natural setting.

Mandalay Holiday Resort owner Clive Johnson and previous Recfishwest Community Grant recipient said, “The owners and staff of Mandalay Holiday Resort would like to thank Recfishwest for making some funds available to sponsor this great event (Mandalay Family Fishing Competition 2015/16). It was great to see kids get such a thrill for catching their first fish and making fishing available to so many families.”

Recfishwest continues to support local community ventures, and commend all the fantastic work and initiative taken by the community to date, completed through these grants.

Artificial Reefs Highlights New Fishing Projects for WA

More Artificial Reefs Highlights New Fishing Projects for WA
– Nine new projects funded from recreational fishing licence money
– New artificial reefs for Exmouth and Esperance plus funding towards an artificial reef for Dampier

Fisheries Minister, Joe Francis, today announced nine new fishing projects funded from recreational fishing licence money through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF). These projects include nearshore artificial reefs to benefit the regional communities of Exmouth and Esperance.  Exmouth and Esperance are set to join Mandurah, Bunbury and Dunsborough as WA’s regional towns to receive an artificial reef. These reefs will provide safe accessible fishing for families in small boats.

The Minister also approved one-third of the funding required for a large offshore artificial reef in Dampier. This funding will allow The City of Karratha to leverage the remaining funding required to see this project come to fruition.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland was thrilled with the announcement by the government which helps ensure WA communities have enjoyable fishing experiences forever.
“The Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF) has provided our great state with over $7million of fishing projects that benefit WA fishers while having additional tangible outcomes for fish habitats, the environment and research,” Dr Rowland said.

“We ask WA fishers where they want their licence money spent and artificial reefs continually come out towards the top of the list. Recfishwest will continue to work hard to provide projects like these that improve people’s fishing experience.”
These reefs provide quality fish habitat in areas where people would normally need to travel excessive distances or venture into rough waters.”
“A lot of people are now seeing the great fishing on the existing South West and Mandurah artificial reefs and if we can transfer those great fishing experiences to other regional hubs state-wide, it will be a huge boost for localised tourism as well as a win for fish habitats.


Other projects announced in this RFIF round included:
– A WA first, Blue Swimmer Crab stocking project
– A project to Determine Economic Value of Recreational Fishing in WA
– An extension of the existing Oyster Reef trial in Albany
– A Threadfin Salmon tagging project in Roebuck Bay, involving local fishers
– Fisher deployed shark bite off video survey
– Continued support for Fishability in WA (Fishers with Disabilities)
– A Community project to connect fishing clubs with their communities’

See a project that interests you? Please get in contact with us and we can tell you more.
ENDS
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Fact File:
– The Recreational Fishing Initiative Fund has invested millions of dollars back into rec fishing projects since 2012.
– Purpose built artificial reef structures feature a strong reinforced concrete framework which provides a hard substrate for reef-building organisms and algae to settle on as well as protective structure for fish to hide from predators and aggregate around.
– Artificial reef installations at the other south-west locations (Mandurah, Bunbury, Dunsborough) have already started to see some great results. Check them out here: https://recfishwest.org.au/artificial-reefs/
– This project was made possible by the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund and supported by Recfishwest and the WA Department of Fisheries.

Your Licence Fund Making Fishing Better

Fisheries Minister Ken Baston has today announced that the Expression of Interest (EOI) period for Round 4 of the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF) is now open. Funding is available for incorporated individuals, research institutions, government departments, clubs/organisations or community groups and joint applications are encouraged. Recfishwest Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Rowland said the RFIF provides funding to enable initiatives, projects and research that is aligned with recreational fishing community priorities and enhances recreational fishing in Western Australia.

“Recfishwest is once again excited to see recreational fishing licence money being reinvested into projects that will enhance the recreational fishing experience.” Dr Rowland said
Since the RFIF was established in 2011, more than $6.5 million of recreational fishing licence money has been invested into projects including:

– Habitat enhancement projects such as the Bunbury, Dunsborough and Mandurah artificial reefs as well as Metropolitan fish towers and Fish Aggregation Devices.
– Stocking of important recreational species including Prawns, Black Bream, Mulloway, Barramundi and Pink Snapper.
– Research into the biology and ecology of important recreational species including Squid, Black Bream, Blue Swimmer Crabs, Prawns, Mulloway, Pink Snapper and various Gamefish.
– Research into the wellbeing benefits of recreational fishing and mapping of fishing locations for fishers of all ability.
– Development of the next generation of recreational fishing including young future leadership programs and post graduate scholarships.

Grants will only be made to projects that promote or benefit recreational fishing in WA. A list of broad strategic areas considered for funding can be found on the 2015 Expression of Interest form available at www.recfishwest.org.au.

The EOI period for 2015 RFIF funding closes at midnight on Sunday the 8th February 2015.

“This program is highly valued by the community as it continues to deliver tangible returns for fishing licence contributions.” Dr Rowland said.
Recfishwest advocates for sustainable fishing resources and policies that ensure long-term benefits to all recreational fishers. For more information on Recfishwest visit www.recfishwest.org.au or phone 9246 3366.

FACT FILE
– Every year 25% of recreational fishing licence revenue is allocated to the RFIF.
– Recfishwest administers the RFIF process and provides advice to the Minister.
– Since its inception in 2011 more than 20 projects valued at over $6.5 million have been funded.
– RFIF funding has seen over 750,000 school prawns stocked in the Swan/Canning River.

Recfishwest administers the RFIF process and the Minister for Fisheries has absolute discretion in the application of all RFIF funds