To say we have been through a tough time recently is an understatement. The virus, flood, big seas, landslides and road closures have all descended upon us, really testing our resolve as a community.
To me the greatest concern is the attack on our natural resources from visitors. Over the holiday period it has been reported to me, after the event, that the shellfish on Fingal Headland and Rocky Point have been targeted by visiting groups who have hammered and chiseled every sign of life including urchins, limpets, chitons, turban shells and periwinkles. All destined for the cooking pot. The pipis on Stockton Beach are forever under pressure.
Unfortunately, a group of visiting spearfishers targeted big flathead on the sand in Fingal Bay for three days, effectively wiping out the female fish. I’m sure that there is far more than has been reported.
The real issue here is the inability of NSW Fisheries to prevent the cleanout. This is not the lack of conviction by the local Compliance Officers who do a great job and I continually support them. It is simply a lack of numbers to police the huge area that they are expected to protect. And it’s not just here. It’s a problem everywhere. What do you think? Obviously more education about protecting and insuring sustainability has to be encouraged and indeed enforced.
And if you notice those taking more than they should, politely explain so, and report them.
Fishing writer, author and radio presenter John “Stinker” Clarke can be heard weekly, throughout NSW, on popular ABC Regional Radio fishing program “The Big Fish”. Check him out on www.stinker.com.au or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your information and questions.