No matter what State you are from, or whether you spear or eat Blue Groper, as recreational spearfishers it is our duty to give a clear message that we will not standby while restrictions are implemented based purely on emotive propoganda or speculative 'feelings'. Follow the link and fill out a submission prepared by Spearfishing Downunder to let the government know that baseless restrictions to our sport will not be accepted.
BE HEARD! Take a moment to fill out a submission.
Read some other submissions.
We are not proposing to open up unlimited catches of Blue Grouper, we are merely asking for some scientifically sound justification for extending their protection and, failing this, we would submit that size and bag limit restrictions are a more sustainable way to manage population of Blue Grouper.
Roundtable member Rod Barford, states his position well here:
"I would support the interim introduction of the attached Fisheries Notice regarding Blue Groper, with a provision that a presence and absence survey of the species be undertaken before the expiration of the Notice, so that a proper picture of the situation can be obtained, rather than relying purely on anecdotal evidence.
Blue Groper are relied upon by a large percentage of spear fishers to provide a catch, and have done so for many years, so I would not support an ongoing blanket ban on the taking of Blue Groper in Victorian waters without that being the result of a proper population survey that proves them endangered, or at least threatened, by recreational fishing and spearfishing.
Rod Barford Roundtable Member"
Ross Winstanley has also raised some important points saying:
"It seems to me that the proposal is more in the line of a rare species conservation measure than one aimed at maintaining or restoring a sustainable fishery for blue groper. The species has always been at the very southern extremity of its range here. Fisheries notices and regulations have been used for such purposes previously in marine and inland waters, with strong support from anglers. In all such instances that I can recall, the initial impetus has come from DSE based on the threatened species status declarations under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act. It is curious that the DPI appears not to have conferred with DSE in relation to this proposal. I strongly suggest that such consultation take place... A proper process is needed for developing such proposals and now is a good time to start."