Please find attached a flyer developed by the Department of Primary Industries, Recreational Fisheries Management Team following complaints about spearfishing at Shark Beach, Nielsen Park.
In an email to the USFA, Fisheries Manager, Jim Harnwell states,
"We are proposing to provide copies of the flier to National Parks rangers to distribute to spearfishers and members of the public.
The aim of the flier is to remind spearfishers about appropriate behaviour etc but also inform the public that spearfishing is a safe and legitimate sport which is allowed at this location.
This will hopefully help reduce conflict as it seems some members of the public are unaware that spearfishing is a legal activity at this location."
Copies of the flyer will also be distributed to Sydney Compliance Officers as well as to the USFA.
This is a great initiative by DPI on behalf of Spearfishers. The USFA are very grateful for their efforts and have welcomed the opportunity to be part of this process to further advocate for the rights of NSW Spearfishers.
The NSW Government is inviting your comments on suggested management initiatives to enhance marine biodiversity in the Hawkesbury Shelf marine bioregion. Please note that the consultation period has been extended until Sunday 8th May 2016.
The Marine Estate Management Authority (MEMA) has created a discussion paper where they describe eight suggested management initiatives in the Hawkesbury Shelf Marine Bioregion Assessment. The USFA agrees with most of these Initiatives except for Initiative 4 - Spatial Management.
Spatial management is basically another name for Lockouts. The USFA is opposed to lockouts as we believe there are better management strategies than total lockouts.
USFA's Matthew Poulton answers some questions on what the Hawkesbury Shelf marine bioregion assessment created by the Marine Estate Management Authority (MEMA) means for spear fishers in NSW, Sydney, Newcastle & Wollongong.
The USFA’s Issues with the Hawkesbury Shelf Marine Bioregion Assessment
As many of you are aware there is a huge push to create another marine park from Newcastle to Wollongong. We are working as hard as we can to minimise the impacts to spear fishers as much as possible. We set to lose out big time here especially as shallow reefs and headlands <25m include 95% of the areas that we dive.
Another new year has come around and therefore timely that I make mention of some good things that will continue on benefitting all spearos. In the USFA we are fortunate to have many talented members who willingly volunteer their time to assist in the running of the Association.
a) The first Sunday of every month of the year, except January, Mother’s Day, long weekends and major championships. Dates for the upcoming year are to be notified three (3) months prior to commencement. The year commences 1st January and completes 31st Where agreed, Allimans may be held in conjunction with major metro controlled events.
b) A notified date shall not include any date which has been allocated to another championship event except as in (a) above. It shall also not include any date which has been previously notified by any club as a veto date. Veto date must be notified to committee at least four (4) months prior to the upcoming competition year.
c) Alliman Shields must be held on the notified scheduled dates.
d) Allimans will start and finish at the following times
January, February, March, April, May, June - 8am till 1.15pm
July, August, September, October, November, December – 8am till 1.15pm
These times may vary only where an Alliman is conducted in conjunction with a major Metro controlled competition normally 8am till 2pm or as otherwise notified at the venue.
A touching presentation speech for the Wally Gibbins Trophy read by David Birch at the 2015 USFA Awards night.
Walter Hammond Gibbins was born January 16th 1930 in Sydney. In the early 1940s he harpooned leatherjackets from the jetties of Sydney Harbour to feed his family before entering the water with his homemade mask, snorkel, belts, a scuba (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus) system and speargun to chase bigger game so successfully that most speargun manufacturers use his speargun design even today.
Wally’s adventurous aquatic life was often compared to the leading French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau. He was a pioneer diver who spent thousands of hours exploring fish, shells and underwater salvage sites. He filmed many of this exploits for TV or films along with a team of high-profile names, including Ben Cropp and Ron and Valerie Taylor. Wally pioneered the trigger mechanism still used today in many guns.
He caught his first shark, a wobbegong, at Middle Head in 1947, and shot and landed the first man-eating shark in Australia - a bronze whaler in 1950. The capture of a shark by a skindiver (rather than a man being caught and eaten by a shark) created headline news. He also caught with a spear a 400-kilogram tiger shark at Sykes Reef near Heron Island in 1963.
In 1948 he helped form the Underwater Skindivers and Fishermen's Association at Long Reef , winning spearfishing competitions for the next 10 years, as well as the 1952 contest between anglers and spearmen. Wally single handedly caught more fish than all 37 anglers who had fished from the shore or boats. The rest of the spearos that turned up that day, may as well have stayed at home! Continue reading Wally Gibbins→