Review of fisheries management doesn't excite
GLADSTONE region fishers have provided a lukewarm response to a State Government review of fisheries management, if their 10-person turnout to a public consultation on Wednesday evening is anything to go by.
One of those who did attend was charter operator Johnny Mitchell, who would be known to locals for his popular barramundi tours.
"I think people get very disjointed from going to those meetings, putting their time and info in, when it falls on deaf ears."
Despite the low turnout, independent consultant Professor Glen Harry, of MRAG Asia Pacific, facilitated a lively discussion.
Concerns raised by locals included the sale of black-market fish caught locally and the lack of consistency in standards applied to commercial, recreational and amateur fishers.
One fisherman said the older generation of fishermen, including his father, had been let down by the log-book system for recording catch limits.
"We were promised the log books were never to be used against us, so when the catch limits came out, they were used against us," he said.
Support for removal of day-to-day decision making powers from the minister for fisheries, and creation of a board to inform the minister, was unanimous.