Pipis legal again
Following a recovery in pipi numbers on most NSW beaches, a six month closure of all beaches to pipi harvesting ended on the 1st June and new harvest arrangements have been introduced. NSW DPI Executive Director of Fisheries, Geoff Allan, said the pipi fishery was closed to commercial harvest on 1 December 2011 in response to concerns about a decline in the State’s pipi stocks.
“The commercial pipi harvest closure ended on 1 June 2012 as recent surveys indicate there has been a recovery in pipi numbers on most NSW beaches,” Dr. Allan said.
“However, to maintain this recovery, new additional management measures will apply for all commercial fishers authorised to harvest pipis.
“A new minimum size limit of 45 millimeters will apply, as well as a new limit restricting the daily take to 40 kilograms.”
Dr. Allan said while there are positive signs that pipi numbers appear to be rebounding on many beaches, there are still some concerns for Stockton and South Ballina beaches.
“Large areas of Stockton and South Ballina beaches will therefore remain closed to commercial harvesting while additional monitoring occurs,” Dr. Allan said.
Arrangements for recreational fishers will remain unchanged with a maximum of 50 pipis permitted to be collected for bait purposes only (due to biotoxin management requirements) and within 50 metres of the high tide mark.
Alpine boaters still not getting the lifejacket message
A recent campaign to target lifejacket use on alpine waters has found a disappointing number of boaters are still not wearing lifejackets when legally required to, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) Maritime Acting General Manager Maritime Operations Trevor Williams said. Twelve fines and eight formal warnings were issued for non-compliance with lifejacket laws during Operation Alpine which was carried out from May 17 to 20 on Blowering Dam, Talbingo Reservoir, Lake Eucumbene, Lake Burrinjuck, Khancoban Pondage, Tumut Ponds, Tooma Dam and Three Mile Dam.
In all, 120 boaters were randomly stopped and checked by RMS Boating Safety Officers for compliance with safety equipment, especially lifejackets, during the campaign. Mr. Williams said boating on alpine waters poses additional hazards to other locations, with water temperatures averaging below 14 degrees for much of the year, and dropping to six or seven degrees in winter.
“If you unexpectedly fall into the water, you may quickly become incapacitated as your body reacts to the ‘cold shock’ of immersion,” he said.
Alpine waters are defined as Lake Burrinjuck, Lake Eucumbene, Lake Jindabyne, Khancoban Pondage, Swampy Plains River, Mannus Lake, Googong Reservoir, Blowering Dam, and all navigable waters contained within the boundaries of the Kosciusko National Park as reserved under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 – NSW.
Since 1 November 2010, strengthened lifejacket laws in NSW have required lifejackets to be worn more often by those boating on alpine waters. Mr. Williams said those who go fishing in small boats such as runabouts represent the biggest group who appear not to understand the new lifejacket laws for boating on alpine waters.
“There are no exceptions. If you are on a small vessel, then you need to wear a lifejacket at all times,” Mr. Williams said.
Other times lifejackets need to be worn on alpine waters include:
• By children under 12 years, when in an open area of a vessel 4.8m to 8m that is under way
• When wearing waders on a vessel
• When being towed on water skis or other towing devices
• When canoeing and kayaking
• When using off-the-beach sailing vessels such as catamarans and centreboard boats
• When sail boarding
• When on a personal watercraft (PWC)
For more information on when to wear a lifejacket in which circumstances, go to www.lifejacketwearit.com.au
Overdue fishing books?
From 1 - 30 June 2012 Libraries ACT members are encouraged to return any overdue library material, and to donate tins or packets of non-perishable food in exchange for fines being removed from their membership record. All food will be donated to OzHarvest Canberra. OzHarvest Canberra provides food to 60 charities in Canberra and Queanbeyan, supporting those in the community in need. Another great reason to visit your local library!
See you on the water.