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Commercial Fishing Hawks'bury?


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I have a friend living at Woy Woy, who herd that they have re-opened commercial fishing in MULLET CREEK.. Which joins and or is part of the Hawksbury river system near the rail bridge...



HAS anyone else herd of this ? or have any other details..?

This would make me so mad :ranting2::ranting2:

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The hawkesbury river as beautiful of a system as it is, gets raped and pillaged on a nightly basis.

Locals and regulars who fish it seem to do OK but most ppl i know, myself included wont justify the 1 hour plus drive to fish a system which just seems to be dead most times rather than not.

Yes its true, and YES it will.

What a shame.

The Georges on the other hand has moved forward in leaps and bounds since the ban on commercial fishing approx. 7 years ago and the best is yet to come.


I dont know about the system being dead?? I travel from Bathurst to mooney mooney and have never went home with the esky empty.. sometimes it may only be a few keepers but other days have been great.. But I would like it to stay that way or get better.. maybe the georges is worth a try on my next trip?

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I wished I lived near the Hawesbury rather than next to the Georges where I do most of my estuary fishing. The Hawesbury is a far bigger system with more oppourtunities, more big jewies, bigger catches, more spots away from crowds and so on.

PS: I have had people tell me Botany bay is a desert, the Georges is dead and so on. Sometimes it just comes down to fishing skills or quiet periods when they just don't want to be caught. Also records show that even the aboriginies and first settlers struggled to catch fish at times around Sydney, especially during winter time.

Edited by billfisher
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I'd like to put my 2 cents worth and say that i have fished the Hawksbury for over 30yrs and have been witness to it's slow demise from many pressures of human greed syndrome

1 - Commercial fishing

2 - Industrial outfow

3 - Unprocessed sewage

4 - agricultural products leeching when it rains

5 - Human waste of all types and descriptions

In my opinion, yes commercial fishing is one of the factors that destroys a river systems ecology, or eventually does lead to the demise of certain populations of marine stock that rely on these habitats to live and/or breed. Lessons learnt from the lost or near-to extinction of species in the past have taught us not to put too much pressure on anything that requires these areas as a home, rest area or breeding place year in year out.

I agree there are still fish to be caught in the hawksbury but they would be school pods or loners that have been either missed or reduced in numbers and only survive and replenish themselves by having good deep water access which constantly flushes itself and provides access for fish to an enormous area to disperse into.

Was a time when you could go fishing the hawksbury or pittwater thru winter and hairtail would be in plague numbers. A fish that we know not much about yet has been decreasing from catches every year. Yet nothing seems to been done to reason why these fish are dwindling in numbers. :thumbdown:

Restocking a system is a great idea and the results have been fantastic so far in reference to thousands of jewfish fingerlings being released into botany bay, the cooks and the georges river which has resulted in some very happy raiders coming up with good catches. :thumbup:

Awareness thru eduction, pressure put on industries and common sense can go a long way but as i stated in the beginning, human greed over-rides the environment every time. another :thumbdown:

thank you for listening. tight lines.

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Actually the water quality has improved over the last couple of decades, at least as far as the Georges goes. Ask the old timers what it used to be like in the 60's and 70's with floating rubbish, factories dumping waste and sewerage causing algal blooms.

As to fishing the evidence is that our estuary fish have a lot of natural resistance to fishing pressure, both recreational and commercial. It's not like we haven't tried wiping them out in the past, but they are fast growing, highly mobile there are many places for them to breed. Now that a lot of commercial effort has been removed (NSW actually imports 91% of it's seafood) it is not likely that our estuary fish can be considered as being under threat.

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Attn. Raiders!!! Musty and Fishermangreg have it spot on. I've posted before on this subject and it remains an item close to my passion! sportfishERMEN MUST UNITE THROUGH GROUPS LIKE FISHRAIDERS OR RISK NOT BEING ABLE TO PASS THIS ON TO OUR YOUNG ONES!!!!! Comercial intrests can make plenty of money 30 miles out to sea using proper and sane fishing methods. Don't be sucked in by greedy bastards who cry the "We have to make a living too" crap. This is, as we used to say in the U.S. Marine Corps ..Bravo Sierra..(B. S.) ....Form groups to lobby govt. to take sportfishers seriously....This takes money and organization but most assuredly can be VERY SUCCESSFUL!!! We have proved this to be true in my native Southern California and currently groups are fighting these people in Alaska. The ammount of jobs the commies..(OOOPS)..comercial boys are talking about are very limited and good riddance if it saves and restores our beloved Hawksbury to use by families. You don't have to be a "Greenick" to want to preserve something that seems to me to be, the natural order of things, like sportfishing. WE ARE NOT THE PROBLEM!!! The ammount of environmental damage we do is nothing in the large scheme of things and frankly, a healthy Hawksbury system also helps the comercial boys in the long run, no matter where those guys fish as long as it's not in our esturine systems! It is insane to let these people ruin an entire system for limited profits that benifet a limited few...For what? Trust me..They will move on when they have destroyed the Hawksbury and "strip mine" a new area all the while bitching about how over regulated and controlled they are...longing for "the old days", "What happened?", ect.., ect.. I USED TO BE ONE OF THEM!! This good oil mates...Ridgy Didg, however ya'll say it .....Stop em now or you'll have broken hearts looking at the results of their handywork.......I love my Hawksbury fishery and already lament the loss of the good old days as told to me by oldtimer fishing mates.....Think what it could be like, Mates, if we ran those wreckless bludgers out of town???? CHEERS......Tom the Yank :mad3:

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Actually it's the deep sea fsh that are in trouble, Tom the Yank. Eg gemfish, orange roughy, southern bluefin tuna. Our estuary fish aren't under any threat. Part of the reason is biological ie the deepwater fish are slow growing and the habit of fish like orange roughy schooling in large spawning aggregations makes them vulnerable to trawling. Our estuary fish on the other hand are fast growing and have a lot of places to spawn and hide. Also the pro's on the Hawkesbury are mainly after squid and prawns and there aren't too many of them 30 miles out.

As to commercial fishermen, there aren't that many left - only 1000 in NSW from 7000 in the 1990's. The rec take is well in excess of the commercial take for a lot of estuary species in NSW. This might be a good reason to careful about what we say, least it be used against us in the push for marine parks by various anti- fishing groups.

Edited by billfisher
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Tirade Update... OUCH!!! I didn't think one of my rants could have stirred the hornets nest.....I guess my main focus should be explained a bit...As a member of the Billfish Foundation I like to see C.P.R.(catch, photo, release) on billfish unless dead due to fighting or a possible record or someones' first fish...As an I.G.F.A. Certified Observer I've seen what some very well accomplished and well to do anglers will do to try to win a huge jackpot in marlin and tuna tournements...I realise Orange roughy Southern Bluefin ect. , are in trouble, ("Chilean Seabass" aka Antarctic Toothfish) should be mentioned, In trouble by the way , due to unsound commercial fishing practices ......and of course a few well placed bribes to Argentine and Chilean Fisheries Ministers of which the Southern Bluefin is not affected but still in trouble no less...I realise not MUCH prawn or squid are caught 30 miles out(however with the proper gear and methods tons can be caught...ie Market and Humboldt squid , Spot prawn , Blue prawn ) and so it goes...Yes deep water fish are in trouble, all the more reason to look closely at bottom draggers (trawlers) and by-catch wastes of up to 90%! When I was active in the Gulf of Alaska our "Target Spieces" went into the hold and everything else went over the side!!!!!! :1yikes: ..I'm a lot older now and know better but if you don't think this is a common everyday practice today,,,in Australian waters, as it is elsewhere you are smoke'n something other than Marlboros!!!I guess my attonement process is trying to raise awareness amongst us.."sport guys"..that we need to be involved to maintain our beloved activity. Yes, industrial and agricultural runoff, un-treated wastewater, erosion due to wreckless logging and de-forestation, effect coral reef and esturine devistation,(I also fish my wife's native Thailand, they can tell you all about it).Yikes!!!All of these issues should and are being adressed at various levels and speeds. I'm not an advocate of an end to commercial fishing...just sane and controlled harvest.This does not mean closures,marine parks and "no take" zones...On the contrary Good science can work miracles!!( Key word.. GOOD SCIENCE).I guess I just get a little excited when I see "bad weather" on the horizon....As to the "Good old day's" bit ..I've fished in California, Mexico, Belize, Guatamala, Costa Rica, Alaska, Hawaii, South Korea, Florida, Maine, Thailand, and a few others as well as, of course Australia. They ALL talk about the "Good old days". I live 2/3 of the time in southern California and 1/3 of the time(for now) in Sydney...My perspective may be different than the next guy but if certain folks are scared that by rock'in the boat on sportfishing issues we'll push Peacenick Groups into all out combat or some such nonsence to shut us down I beleave they don't know the American or Ozzie collective spirits!!........When i'm back in Sydney I'd love to meet with all fellow Raiders @ a Raider function and go fish, get together ect. I'll be easy to find... I'll be the guy with a plank of ice cold Toohey's and a big black eye!!!!Seriously, I do kill and eat fish, lot's of it.......I hope nobody is too bent at my rant, but beware the loss of the "Good old Days" we can stop it dead in it's tracks by working as one big unit, As Fishraiders!!! " Always back your country, only back your government when they deserve it...." Thomas Jefferson.........AUSTRALIA FOREVER!!! CHEERS MATES>>>>Tom the Yank .....Oh! by the way as I mentioned I'm out of town a lot ...I'm glad to hear our inshore/esturine fishes are in great shape! Lane Cove River, Parramatta River(Above the bridge).Botony ect.........(Just don't eat 'em) CHEERS....

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i can feel a gov survey comming on you know the ones

they hire 10 fools to ring 100 regestered fishermen each weekly to find out what they caught

then they x the result by how many fishing licences there are and that's how they work out how many rec.fish are taken each year

but worst off all they call it science what a crock off poo

ban all pro fishing from the hawks was'nt that what the $ from the fishing licenses is for

cherrs gary

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Mullet creek being fairly shallow (except the end of the creek which reaches 18ft +) can trawlers even go there let alone netting?..

last time when i went there, i almost got uphooked by some tree branch under water!! scary stuff!

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The rec take is well in excess of the commercial take for a lot of estuary species in NSW. This might be a good reason to careful about what we say, least it be used against us in the push for marine parks by various anti- fishing groups.

Where did you get your figures for the rec take being far greater then commercial for estuarine species??? That is not true at all! You can see from the posts above how much they take from the hawks alone... do some research before you post such fallacious statements!

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Where did you get your figures for the rec take being far greater then commercial for estuarine species??? That is not true at all! You can see from the posts above how much they take from the hawks alone... do some research before you post such fallacious statements!

NSWDPI research figures. I did put them up before in another thread, fully referenced with pro and rec takes. From memory the rec take is well ahead of the pros for mulloway, bream and flathead. Some members were in a state of denial about it but there were no credible arguments offered to refute the figures.

If you find it hard to believe then think of it this way:

1 000 pros x tonnes = 1000's of tonnes ........... 1 000 000 anglers x kilos = 1000's of tonnes.

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Survey of Recreational Fishing in

New South Wales (NSW DPI)

Comparisons between the recreational and commercial catches in NSW

(table 1) indicated that the fisheries were geographically distinct. Species

forming the bulk of the commercial catch were generally taken from coastal or

offshore waters, while the major portion of the recreational catch was taken

from estuarine waters. Both groups of fishers harvested about 200 species of

fish, but the total recreational catch was about 30% of the total commercial

catch. About 6 of the prominent species harvested by both fishing groups

were taken in greater numbers by recreational fishers. These species were

generally common estuarine species taken in metropolitan waters where the

number of recreational fishers and their fishing effort was greatest. These

results were anticipated and were consistent with the information provided by

earlier small-scale studies.

Table 1. Harvest of NSW recreational fishing catches compared with an

estimate of NSW commercial fishery landings (grouped species).

Harvest of key species by fishing sector

Recreational (kg) Commercial (kg)*

Whiting 394,081 1,181,793

Flathead 886,824 496,335

Bream 728,752 365,383

Garfish 22,672 97,875

Tailor 252,736 190,675

Aust. salmon 221,977 790,143

Snapper 116,967 273,159

Trevally 87,530 273,884

Leatherjackets 107,966 117,034

Wrasse/tuskfish/gropers 52,373 69,810

Luderick 280,130 503,600

Mackerels 128,627 443,567

Cod (various) 8,133 35,835

Catfish 94,222 28,965

Mulloway 273,703 63,796

Morwong 139,929 429,606

Tuna/bonitos 844,480 1,000,500

Sharks/rays 60,186 441,090

Yellowtail kingfish 180,003 137,349

Prawns (saltwater) 104,833 2,346,976

Blue swimmer crab 154,831 165,461

Squid/cuttlefish 65,717 824,183

Mud crab 30,000 135,144

Lobsters 7,398 120,000

*data derived from a range of Commonwealth and State sources. Other

species data based on a 5 year average of ocean fishery landings into NSW.

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thanks for that billfisher ......i would be intrested to know how exactly they collected the rec figures would have been alot harder to get accurate then the pro figures.......



The survey used remote (telephone and diary) survey methods as the primary

source of information from recreational fishers. A clustered stratified random

sample of household telephone numbers was drawn from electronic white

page directories. Researchers rang each household and conducted an

interview with respondents to obtain information on their fishing and boating

activities and demographic profile. Each respondent who indicated that a

member of the household was likely to go fishing in the coming 12 months

was invited to participate in a diary survey. Fishing households were issued

with survey kits containing a diary or memory jogger, fish identification booklet

and a letter of confirmation from the relevant fishery management agency.

Fishing households were contacted each month (whether fishing was

anticipated or not) to obtain the details of their fishing activity and expenditure

on fishing related items. A number of calibration/ validation (refusals, noncontact,

intending non-fisher, on-site creel) surveys were conducted at the

end of the diary survey to correct for non-response and other sources of bias.

The survey methodology has been described by West (1998), SDWG (2000)

and Lyle et al (2002) and a detailed account of the survey methodology will be

available in the final national report.

The survey was undertaken at a national level and a project team was

established in each Australian State and Territory to implement the survey. In

New South Wales, the project team consisted of three NSW DPI staff and 22

telephone interviewers who were sub-contracted for the term of the project.

An additional 10 field staff were sub-contracted by NSW DPI to conduct

interviews at beaches, boat ramps and other locations frequented by

recreational fishers. The comparison of information obtained by the two

groups (telephone and face-to-face) was an important component of the

validation process. The project was developed over a number a years and

included several developmental and testing phases. A feasibility survey was

conducted in 1998 to select the most appropriate survey method. A pilot

survey was conducted in 1999 to test the method. Staff training for the project

began in January 2000, data collection occurred from mid-2000 to the end of

2001. Data entry analysis and reporting occurred in 2002. The project has

involved State and Commonwealth fisheries agencies, peak recreational and

commercial advisory groups and other interested parties. The total budget for

the NSW component of the national survey was approximately $680,000

which was provided by the funding agencies mentioned above and NSW DPI.

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i know one of the guys that was doing the interviews quite well and ALOT of people were inteniontaly avoiding him and from what i was told it was going on at other ramps as well, so i still dont like to think how reliable the data is and if it is so set in stone then fishiries should be acting by now to thhe massive amounts captured by the pros and if the rec bags where of such a concern to then theres ways of dealing with that eg reductions in bag limits , and increases in legal size limits...


I would appear that the methodology accounts for non-responses or refusals as a source of bias. Most of the species aren't considered as overfished. A couple are considered as growth overfished (mulloway and snapper), but growth overfishing is not regarded as a biological problem. PS, our harvest is puny by world standards.

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well billfisher i stand corrected! Now il just go and get a towel to wipe all the egg off my face!

However, some of those numbers i cant agree with - for instance Mulloway. There is NO way that rec anglers take 273,703kg and pro's only take 63,796kg. I wouldnt have thought the real rec number would be close to that, based on no other factors other than i dont think there are that many that get caught, where as offshore the pros net entire schools...

anyway, thanks for the info Billfisher.

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no dicko you do'nt have egg on your face as surveys are not science and are not worth the paper there written on

in eng.we call it increasing error the more times they x the bigger the error gets

all surveys are at best a good stab in the dark so having said this the rec take is fundamentaly flawed and a stab in the dark


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Your on a hiding to nothing guys. The survey method is peer reviewed and validated by cross checking with other methods. Also this wasn't dreamed up to hoodwink fishermen. These sort of surveys are used by businesses to research markets, medical researchers studying epidemiology and many other fields where a lot of money and even lives are at stake.

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That method and data is crap. How did they assess how many people went fishing? Just multiply by number of fishing lic and add 20% for all the kids? .

I can tell you crap in crap out.

Where are the bycatch numbers?

The peer reviews all refer to the process not the data. That is not a good process for what they were trying to achieve. An actuary or statistician would have pups laughing at the conclusions.

No egg anywhere. Sorry in advance to anyone who believes those figures.

Why don't they just add up the fish obituarys in the paper or interview teh fish?

Edited by pelican
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