Click on the link below to access the In-Depth Newsletter for November 2015.
In-Depth Newsletter November
The Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the Northern Territory has made a submission for the review of the Commonwealth Marine Reserves as it applies to the North Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network.
AFANT welcomes the opportunity to provide comment on the review of the North Bioregion Commonwealth Marine Reserve. AFANT recognises that this review delivers on the government’s election commitment for a ‘More Competitive and Sustainable Fisheries Sector’ and hopes that this review will reflect genuine consultation with stakeholders reinforced by peer reviewed science.
AFANT recognises that a marine park is a resource to be enjoyed by all Australians and we support marine reserves that allow multiple uses in a sustainable fashion such as; recreation, science, education, conservation and enhanced visitor experiences.
Attached below is a link to a discussion paper recently released by the NT Government Fisheries division.
Clearly AFANT has concerns with the sustainability and potential flow-on impact on important recreational species of this proposal as it targets the very important bait species that almost all the Northern Territory Bluewater species rely.
AFANT would like your views on this proposal.
The Parks and Wildlife Commission with Tourism NT and the Department of Business have announced that consultation will be conducted to deliver a Parks Tourism and Recreation Masterplan.
One of the objectives of the plan is to “set a clear direction for developing and managing recreation and tourism values and opportunities for the Territory’s most visited parks for the next ten years.”
AFANT will be providing input to ensure ongoing and improved access to important areas within the NT parks estate into the plan and would encourage interested recreational anglers to have their say.
Parks will be holding;
Community and recreation user group open forums at:
Tourism Industry Forums will be held:
Please note, to attend the Tourism Industry Forums please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
As in our last newsletter sent out in June, there has been little development on reopening the Finniss River closed areas.
Discussions are still underway for a number of areas including the Tiwi Islands, the area including Fog Bay, bottom section of the tidal reaches of the Finniss River, little Finniss and Blaze/Jenny Point. We understand that the government is still in discussions with the traditional owners around the closed areas of the Finniss River above 12 ½ km from the Finniss mouth. The exact marks are on the NLC website.
This is a link to the latest update from the NT Government on the Blue Mud Bay negotiations and outcomes http://www.fishing.nt.gov.au/update.html
At the NLC full council meeting, the interim arrangements which have been put in place to allow negotiations between traditional owners and the NT Government to resolve access arrangements, including for recreational fishing to Blue Mud Bay waters, has been extended for a further six months from June 30 to December 31.
Essentially this retains the status quo until the end of the year.
One of the main reasons given for the closure of the upper tidal sections of the Finniss River by Traditional Owners is the illegal activities including shooting, quad bikes and trespass on Aboriginal lands. Access to Aboriginal land requires a permit.
Most disappointing is that the fishing rights and access of genuine law abiding recreational fishers has been put at risk through the actions of a few.
AFANT is aware that a small number of people are totally disregarding the Finniss River closure as well as accessing other Aboriginal lands in the areas south of Dundee with quad bikes for fishing and shooting.
AFANT is particularly concerned with the continued activity in areas where sensitive Blue Mud Bay negotiations are being undertaken as this activity has the potential to jeopardise these discussions and may impact ongoing access.
If you are out on the water and see people acting suspiciously or accessing Aboriginal lands please report this activity to AFANT or the water police on 08 8936 4812.
AFANT is particularly interested in identifying boats that have been set up to carry quad bikes as these are operating in a number of areas and we have information that suggests that they have been accessing Aboriginal lands without permits.
Genuine law abiding recreational fishers should not stand by and let a small minority who are doing the wrong thing destroy our fishing access and relationships with traditional land owners.
If you see people doing the wrong thing you should report it.
The Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the NT Inc (AFANT) has called on interested anglers and community members to get involved and make comments on the Vista Gold Mt Todd Gold Project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
AFANT has been pushing the NT Government for many years to deal with the major legacy and pollution issues at Mt Todd and the EIS is the community’s best opportunity to ensure that we don’t turn an already large problem into an even bigger one.
The Mt Todd mine is arguably the Northern Territory’s largest and worst legacy mine site and has for over a decade caused significant toxic water to flow into the Edith River which flows into the Daly River.
Water quality at the site is a major problem with acid mine drainage contaminating a number of on-site water bodies and retention ponds with extremely low Ph water laced with high concentrates of heavy metals.
The existing Mt Todd mine which was operational between 1993 until it was abandoned in 2000 is an extremely large open cut gold mine but the proposed expansion will dwarf the current infrastructure and assets on site.
• 510 million tonnes of ore processed over the 13 years of mine life
• Mine pit will expand from 40 ha and 114mt deep to cover 137 ha and be 588 mt deep
• Waste rock dump will expand from 70 ha to 217 ha and raise from 24mt to 350mt high
• Tailings dams x2 the largest being 300ha and 60mt high
AFANT is taking a strong interest in the EIS to ensure that the proposed mining operations and post closure rehabilitation of the site can be conducted in a manner that removes the current and future water and pollution risks at Mt Todd and the Edith River.
The current Mt Todd site layout has a myriad of problems and highlights what can go wrong when poor mine design and approvals are allowed to proceed by Government. It is essential that these issues are addressed and fixed through the EIS.
AFANT will be providing detailed comments and issues of concern with the project through the EIS and we encourage others with any concerns to provide comments to the NT EPA.
One of the most important considerations for AFANT in this and other similar projects is to ensure the spectacular recreational fishing experiences in the Daly River are not put at risk.
The Mt Todd Gold Project EIS can be found at the NT EPA website:
The 2013 Darwin Boat and Outdoor Show will be held at the Darwin Convention Centre on Saturday the 31st of August and Sunday the 1st of September.
AFANT will once again have a stand at the show to provide advice on recreational fishing issues and to receive membership applications and renewals. We look forward to seeing you all down there.
AFANT ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The AFANT AGM will be held at 10am on Sunday, March 24th at the Tracy Village Social and Recreation Club in Lyons.
A number of issues will be on the agenda and there will be a free BBQ to follow the meeting. AFANT encourages you to put the date in your diary and come along.
AFANT WEBSITE UPGRADE
We have recently upgraded the AFANT website. While it’s still a work in progress, it’s coming along and will be more functional and up-to-date than what it has replaced. You can find our website at http://afant.com.au/
2009-2010 RECREATIONAL FISHING SURVEY RELEASED
The Northern Territory government has released the long awaited 2009-2010 recreational fishing survey, it can be found on the NT fisheries website http://www.nt.gov.au/d/Fisheries/index.cfm?header=Survey+of+Recreational+Fishing
COMMERCIAL BARRAMUNDI FISHING CLOSURES
Commercial Barra netting has been removed from Chambers and Finke Bays creating a recreational-only fishery from the southern end of Fog Bay to the eastern side of the Wildman River.
AFANT is committed to ensuring the maximum benefit for the community and recreational anglers is achieved by the removal of commercial barramundi fishing from Chambers and Finke Bays.
AFANT is working with government to implement a number of positive actions and management strategies to develop and maintain a world class fishing experience in the lower Mary River and Chambers and Finke Bays that is ecologically, economically and socially sustainable.
CODE OF CONDUCT
AFANT has developed a voluntary code of conduct for Chambers and Finke Bays and the Mary River and would like all fishers and boaters to be fully aware that all vessels and operators are still required to obey current boating and marine safety regulations. They should always travel at a safe speed, give way when required and be aware that other vessels may still be operating in the same area.
Due to real concerns on boating safety AFANT put forward the proposed new arrangements in relation to the one-way traffic system proposed for the Tommycut cut-through and intends to work with the relevant authorities to formalise a permanent and regulated solution to these safety issues.
Some of the angler actions contained in the code are:
AFANT encourages all recreational fishers in the NT to support the code of conduct from the 1st of February when the area will be commercial barra fishing free for the first time.
We invite anglers who regularly fish the Mary River system or Chambers and Finke Bays to get involved in the tagging and catch and effort data collection.
AFANT has produced tagging kits for anglers who regularly fish the area.
More info on the code of conduct can be found on the AFANT website http://afant.com.au/
PROPOSED CHANGES TO NORTHERN TERRITORY RECREATIONAL FISHING CONTROLS
AFANT has made submissions to the NT governments discussion paper — Proposed Changes to Northern Territory Recreational Fishing Controls November 2012.
This discussion paper is part of an industry wide approach at dealing with the decline in key reef fish species in areas of the Northern Territory. AFANT has made detailed submissions to all three discussion papers to ensure that changes are made to the effort across all sectors equitably.
AFANT has always been supportive of properly justified controls in our recreational fishery and we believe that changes to some current personal possession limits and other regulations are now necessary. We have supported option one as outlined in the discussion paper and believe that the final recommendations of the department should be submitted to the Recreational Fishing Ministerial Advisory Council before implementation.
Our submission will be placed on the AFANT website http://afant.com.au/