Start of mullet season snags up with problems

MULLET SEASON IS HERE AT THE FRASER COAST QLD AUSTRALIA Tom Durbidge hauls in a catch of mullet image

MIXED BAG: Tom Durbidge hauls in a catch of mullet. The traditional start to the 2015 mullet run is off to a patchy start for some fishermen on the Sunshine Coast who are hoping weather conditions will be more favourable soon.

COAST mullet fisherman Kevin Cannon’s small but experienced team has had a weather-delayed start to this year’s season.

Fishermen to his north and south have had success but so far, this winter has only provided the Mudjimba-based veteran “a little hatful”.

The ocean temperature has yet to drop to the suitable 20-degree mark and south- westerly winds which he desires are yet to blow in.

Traditionally, early June is when mullet start running in beach gutters.

“It doesn’t really look like we are going to get a south- westerly for a couple of weeks,” Mr Cannon said.

“It’s just been a case of wait and see.”

He had heard of good hauls at Caloundra as well as Noosa but as yet, no luck in between.

Mr Cannon, 67, said his crew members were aged 66 and 65 with the youngest member about 45.

He has been walking the beaches with nets since the late ’50s but struggles to see how younger generations could take up the craft.

He said the possibility of laws changing or restrictions being added meant it was unlikely banks would loan the money needed to get started.

“There’s no certainty in it for the young fellows,” he said.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol district manager Greg Bowness said the traditional winter migration of the sea mullet provided commercial operators with an important opportunity and netting activity had already escalated.

“Seafood wholesalers should have a plentiful supply of fresh local mullet,” Mr Bowness said. “It is a commercially important species and although inspections show high levels of compliance with fisheries regulations, including fish size, licensing, net length and mesh size, QBFP will be in the region to monitor activity.”

Mr Bowness asked recreational fishers to allow commercial netters to conduct their activities safely during the mullet run by giving them room to operate.


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A NEW fishing body has been set up in the Fraser Coast to represent the interests of recreational anglers.

Scott Mitchell, who helped create the Fraser Coast Fishing Alliance, said the new entity would lobby to have the Great Sandy Marine Park brought into line with other Australian conservation zones.

“The removal of commercial netting from the current yellow conservation zones will not ban the harvesting of seafood for our region,” Mr Mitchell said.

“We actually question how much locally caught seafood is being sold in the region.”
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Mr Mitchell said the new body would like to see the State Government introduce a permit-based recreational fishing structure on the Fraser Coast.

He said similar to the model used in New South Wales, funds raised from the permit-based system would be used to compensate commercial anglers to prevent them from fishing in the Great Sandy Marine Park.

“I think one of the biggest problems we have seen is when they close other areas it keeps pushes people into this area and I don’t think that’s fair to the people that have been fishing here already,” he said.

“And it is a balancing act. I know the industry employees a lot of people in Hervey Bay…and you have to look at the viability of it all and look to ensure scallops and prawns and the industry viable.”
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Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha [From the Chronicle]