Being a child of a migrant family that came to Australia in the early 70’s, I’m fortunate enough to have experienced what it is like to live in another country, albeit I was only 11 when my parents made the trip from France to Australia with a grand total of 4 suit cases and 3 children, and I still have strong memories of my childhood.
My parents chose Adelaide (SA) as the destination to call home and thrust 3 non English speaking kids into the Australian education system. I only spent 1 year in Primary school before going to an Agricultural college in Adelaide where for the first time in my life, I heard the saying “Australia, The Lucky Country”.
Never has a truer word been spoken!
We only need to look at our coastline, our beaches, our oceans and to compare them to any other body of water or coastline on the planet to realise that we have heaven on earth right here.
We have everything here that any diver could possibly want! Temperate waters, tropical waters, the biggest coral reef formations on the planet, shipwrecks galore, caves and sinkholes, lakes etc… and all these abundant with marine life.
We are also very lucky that our governments have had the brains to regulate fishing activities both commercial and recreational and that they have a firm approach to protecting an asset that belongs to the entire country.
Unfortunately, every week I read of people who break the law, sometimes it is by exceeding the bag limit, other times it is for taking undersized catch or utilising illegal means and tools to fish with. That kind of behaviour makes me annoyed, it is frustrating to think that some people don’t have the brains to understand that breaking the law is wrong and that to every action, there is a reaction.
It is good to see that law breakers aren’t getting away with a slap on the wrist, they are being hit with substantial fines, the confiscation of equipment to the extent of having vehicles and boats seized, sizable fines and in some instances jail terms.
Bag limits exist for a reason, they haven’t just been put in place by some desk bound pen pusher, they come as a result of studies and surveys performed to look at and understand the movements, breeding habits and populations of species within given areas. The bag limits are there to keep recreational and professional fishing sustainable, they exist so that everyone has the same rights and can have the same share of the catch, they exist to protect species from abuse and extinction.
We need to act and report illegal fishing activities to the authorities by calling 13 (FISH) – (133474).