Gone fishing with Craig Harris, November 25, 2016

NICE ONE: Coxy with a nice jewfish caught at Mallacoota. Send your pictures to craig@waggamarine.com.au or 0419 493 313.
NICE ONE: Coxy with a nice jewfish caught at Mallacoota. Send your pictures to craig@waggamarine.com.au or 0419 493 313.

WE RECEIVED some real good news this week. I have written before about the giant fishing trawler, Geelong Star, and how it can damage our fishing industry both recreational and commercial, well, the trawler has left our waters, not to return.

The departure is blamed on failure to reach a deal with Australian partners (and by partners I think they mean the government).

The departure comes as a Senate report has been released, calling on the Federal Government to ban all factory freezer trawlers from operating in the Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery regions.

The ship has been plagued by reports of deaths of protected species, including dolphins and fur seals.

In a statement on its website, Parlevliet & Van der Plas BV said it had chosen to stop the fishing activities of the Geelong Star in Australia.

"The reason is that we cannot achieve a financial commercial agreement with the local partners in Australia," it said.

This is fantastic news for us all who are involved in the fishing industry, whether that is recreational or commercial.

You shouldn’t be overly concerned with the Australian commercial fishing because it is highly regulated and well maintained, if we didn’t have an Australian commercial fishery, we wouldn’t be able to have quality fish on our store shelves or in our fish shops.

Yes, a lot of the larger stores have imported fish, mainly due to the purchasing price and with the Geelong Star now gone that may change.

I do hope that if and when you do purchase fish from these larger stores you look for the Australian product as it helps keep Aussies in jobs and by Jumping Jiminy we need that right at this moment.

What will stop the Geelong Star coming back and fishing our waters you ask?

As far as I can see through some research, the Geelong Star has dropped the Australian flag which means it no longer has jurisdiction to be able to fish in Australian waters.

There was a rule put in place in 2012 that ships known as super trawlers were prohibited from fishing in Australian waters, but the ban only applied to vessels over 130 metres and the Geelong Star is only 95 metres.

However, the way the vessel is made it can actually carry MORE than the larger vessels.

The amount of by catch the Geelong Star had, or has, will probably never be known and the amount of mammals that were killed will probably never be known.

Hopefully our government sees how many people are actually involved in this industry and will continue to outlaw such vessels. We can only hope.

The only way that the Geelong Star did not have its licence renewed was by all fishermen alike taking an active and vocal role in voicing the disapproval of such vessels.

Yet, as a collective cannot rest on our laurels and think we have won the war; yes, we have won a battle and a fairly major one at that, but the war isn’t over by any stretch.

Australia is one of the most fertile fishing areas in the world and anyone who thinks they can make a quick buck out of it will always try and have a go at it.

Let’s rejoice in this victory whilst keeping an eye open for others who want to try and take it away.

Less than seven days until you know what – the heart rate is slowly starting to lift so start getting ready.

Fishing around

THERE are a lot of reports coming through regarding schooling yellas in our local impoundments, especially at Blowering and Burrinjuck with some very big footballs being recorded.

Obviously these fish are NOT worth while keeping because all you can taste is fat, even when you try and cut all the fat out – yes I am talking from experience – many, many years ago before I got educated.

The bigger ones are the breeders so a quick picture and put them back in the water to breed again. If you do want to harvest one of these the best size is between 35cm to 40cm.

I also know Rod from The Compleat Angler went to the river just before the low pressure system hit last Wednesday and in three hours landed 17 good yellas from the bank casting lures.

There have been some good numbers of trout still being caught in most impoundments – Talbingo, Hume, Eucumbene and Jindabyne

Good numbers of palegics on the South Coast as well, a couple of Kingies caught in Wallaga Lake and Mackeral out on the edge and with the water temperature at 20 degrees and heading up, the season is almost upon us.