Barra harvesting

Global warming and overfishing. And any good news we can dig up.
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wonderwobler
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Barra harvesting

Post by wonderwobler » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:22 pm

Reactive Adaptive Resource Management, sounds like some buzzword bingo phrase used by a political spin doctor who needs to say something without meaning anything doesn’t it.

RARM does actually exist, in Alaska. The management of the Salmon resource in the USA is very successful, fish stocks are managed based on reacting to seasonal variations and biomass estimates, not dates on a calendar.

It’s generally known that the Salmon migrate back to their spawning grounds in the rivers at a general time of year (spring) a fluctuating natural occurrence.
The fisheries managers monitor the weather conditions, river flows and aggregation of the fish at the river deltas and base the opening of the fishing season for amateur and professional fishermen on that info. RARM ensures that the fish have an opportunity to spawn and migrate before any harvesting of the biomass is conducted.

Should our Barra fishery be managed with a RARM method? The Daly River is a prime example of a resource that would benefit from an adaptable management policy rather than a date fixed in a calendar based on a political decision made over thirty years ago.

Consider this, we are experiencing a very poor wet season, the river has record low flows and heights at present. The biomasses of fish are bunched up in the river delta waiting for the flood to trigger their feeding migration up the river.

The open season for the professional harvesters is this Friday the 1st of February.

A biomass of fish that is already at a low level due to preceding poor wet seasons and the accompanying low recruitment and survival of fish will be again harvested based on a date in a calendar.
How many years can this system of management continue when there seems to be a better way?

I’m not a scientist, but I can read and many people have experienced and witnessed the RARM system at work, the USA salmon fishery is one of the best examples of modern resource management that adapts to the environmental conditions and discards calendars.



slug
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Re: Barra harvesting

Post by slug » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:13 pm

I'm also no scientist WW, but your logic sounds reasonable to me.

Best of luck getting any change from our bunch of 'Astral Planers' running the show however (both Federal & local).

I mean, you only have to look at the GBR/Global Warming issue.

Current bunch of global warming denying tossers have their head in sand, and the loony left that will soon be in power will no doubt invoke a whole raft of totally useless
and over the top "mitigation processes' - rather than both parties just do something that works ..... :idea:

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Re: Barra harvesting

Post by NinjaFish » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:19 pm

Yep. This methodology works with the shrimp and eelers further south (US) also and I believe came about after a near total decimation of stocks in the past.

Might explain some good years (early wet) prior and some bad follow up years because nets were set at season start prior to good wet. I also wonder if the pros take notice if the fish are roed up or not when processing. Maybe our Government should legislate a scientist or two on board for the first few catches for research and reporting value.

Quinntreximon
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Re: Barra harvesting

Post by Quinntreximon » Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:22 pm

RARM is based on A FACT in real time, a Calendar date is an APPROXIMATE based on an assumption. We update most things in society other than LAWS. What is happening TODAY is judged on LAWS from 10's,100's even 1000's of years ago. Why???

wonderwobler
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Re: Barra harvesting

Post by wonderwobler » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:42 pm

The recent news story about the NT Field & Game Association boycotting cooperation with the NT Government over the Magpie Goose hunting season and bag limits is interesting.

The Goose hunting season and bag limits are flexible, based on bird stocks and wet season rains. The Field & Game Assoc. claim the NTG ignores the input of the stakeholders in this recreational pursuit that is also a valuable tourism resource with financial inflow to the local economy.

It’s not a long bow to draw comparing the above to the current situation on the Daly River. The fish stocks are under pressure at a time when the wet season is not conducive to successful spawning and the stock is likely to be heavily harvested by netting in Anson Bay and the river delta.

I wonder what impact that will have on the 11 Tourist parks clustered along the river that rely on fishing tourism for their income. The annual barra comps also need a healthy fishery to be attractive to entrants, stumping up around $7000 to enter a fishing comp with an increasing chance of catching nothing will soon lose its shine.

The Daly River was the first river to be truly handed over to recreational fishing, a few things have been tweaked like bag limits and upper size limits along with controls regarding Cherabin, all reasonable rules.

However the antiquated closure areas and season times on netting Anson Bay that do not consider fish stocks and the variable wet seasons impact on fish movements has the potential to eventually damage the fishery so badly it could take many years (if ever) to recover to what was not so long ago a jewel in the crown of NT recreational fishing management.

wonderwobler
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Re: Barra harvesting

Post by wonderwobler » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:20 am

What does the future hold for the Daly River barramundi fishery?

Uncertainty is a strong proportion of any answer to that question, weather conditions certainly play a major part, and we have no control of that.
Water quantity is a vital component, we do have some influence on this factor with water extraction from the aquifer for irrigation impacting on river flows in years of low rainfall.
Water quality is paramount to a healthy river, ANY foreign substance introduced to the water WILL have an impact, we have nearly absolute responsibility for this.
Fish stock capture management is obviously our total responsibility.

With the above facts at our disposal we could make a calculated appraisal on the potential future of the river, bearing in mind that standard scientific practice is to manage the unknown with caution.
Let’s look at the known factors, the entire water quantity of the Daly River catchment is allocated to agriculture, industry, domestic use and lastly the environment. Water extraction from the underground aquifer that the river relies on for around 60% of its dry season flows is not monitored, sink a bore and suck as much as you can.

The dumping of foreign substances into the catchment is seen as normal, the Mt Todd legacy mine continues to poison the water with heavy metals with a licence to do so from government! The town of Katherine uses the river as a waste water depository including sewerage and commercial/agricultural waste water contaminated with who knows what.

Harvesting of the fish stock during the spawning aggregation is widely considered as a sure way of reducing that biomass, we continue to carry out this harvest of fish regardless of the environmental conditions or the size of the biomass, and as usual we will keep harvesting until it’s not financially viable.

In my short time of fishing the Daly since 83 the change has gone nearly full circle, back then the fishing was not very good, netting of the river was widespread then around 88 the river was declared a recreational asset and the fishing gradually improved. Aided by a succession of average wet seasons.

By the mid-90s the fish stock had recovered, proved by the NT Barra Classic where competitors caught over 1000 Barra in five days, in multiple years. These were the times when 60 anglers used 6kg mono line and 4m boats with very basic electronics and tackle.

Sure times have changed, the weather is different, the development of agriculture and industry has grown along with the population, with the mind set of all Governments is focused on jobs and growth, we all have become somewhat complacent and apathetic about our impact on the river and the fish that live in it.

The fishing has gradually deteriorated, driven by not only poor wet seasons but all the factors above and probably others that we don’t know about, it’s a shame, but the future does not look bright while we accept and contribute to the decline of the health of the river.

wonderwobler
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Re: Barra harvesting

Post by wonderwobler » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:29 pm

Something that we can be sure of is that the tens of ton's of barra harvested in Anson bay and the Daly River delta this year will not be swimming up the river, ever.
How many barra make up a ton?

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Re: Barra harvesting

Post by NinjaFish » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:30 pm

I'd say it's a fair bit more than tens of tons WW with reports showing that Anson & Chambers being the most prolific over the years. It's suggested in some reports that Anson Bay tonnage reports are kept quiet due to 'commerce in confidence'.

2012 report-
http://fish.gov.au/reports/Documents/20 ... 202011.pdf

Based on a 90cm fish @ 8.5kg to make up a ton would equate to about 117 Barra.


http://www.territorystories.nt.gov.au/b ... 1/FN27.pdf
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