Far South Coast Championships 2016

The week leading up to the comp saw perfect diving conditions flat calm crystal clear warm water. Wazza took full advantage of these conditions leading up to the comp doing a lot of home work and having a serious game plan for the day , Ellis for boaty and list of spots as long as your arm. It certainly paid off, finishing a country mile ahead of some serious competition . The St George boys took out the next 3 spots ( Merv must be smiling as he looks down )
Then a well deserved 6th to Troy fishing with 5 up in the "Haines" then Oly who has won this comp more then any one else And Pete Baker just edging Joe Out. Good to see the captain win. Joey placed 10 th and won the intermediates, Conner Elliot had a blinder finishing 11th out right and winning the Juniors convincingly, followed by Zeb and Darcy in 3rd . Christian won the Sub Juniors and Zac Merlo on his first ever comp, runner up Sub Junior. Living up to the Merlo family tradition. And almost forgot Eddy won the Grand masters again beating Ben Allan by a few fish scales. Thats a fair range of age, from 13 to 70 all competing on the day.

There was over 40 people sign on and all weighed in . There would have been a few more but the weather forecast was bit "how you going" so we lost a few who pulled the plug and cancelled. Sorry you missed out on a great weekend guys. But that's what comp diving is about, diving the conditions on the day. The comp was well run , there was plenty of BBQ chicken to eat , and great prizes to be won , I was wrapped , won a wet suit that's perfect for the youngest son. Special thanks to Lee Dalli for doing a run down at the last minute with some great prizes from Adreno. Lee deserves a special mention for all the work he puts in with no fuss or carry on , Thanks Lee. Ray Powell DiveR Australia donated a pair of the worlds greatest Fins DiverR , this time won by Conner Elliot for a thumper of a Boar fish and for such a good overall performance.
Roy from Agro-dive supplied at lot of great prizes and a special thank you to Adreno for there donated prizes. And thanks to Joey Conner for doing the scores a job well done. For two young guys there do so much work. Great stuff.

FSCC Results 2016

Due to the current weather forecast for strong winds the Far South Championships has been changed to be held on the Sunday 24th April. Same location being the Narooma boat ramp for 7.00am sign-on
The forecast looks better for the Sunday with little wind and a reduced swell.FSCC 2016 Flyer

Snorkel described as lethal in Australian Parliament

Ping Pong Ball Snorkle
Ping Pong Ball Snorkel

Dr M. H. Cass (ALP VIC) told Federal Parliament in March that an underwater snorkel on sale in Australia was lethal.

He asked the Prime Minister, Mr Gorton, to investigate the sale of the snorkel.

Mr Gorton agreed to make the inquiries.

The snorkel was described by Dr Cass as a long, underwater breathing snorkel with Ping-Pong valves.

He said that an 8 year old boy had drowned in three feet of water while using the snorkel.

From: The Fisherman Winter, 1970 pg. 21.

Official Complaint regarding content in Hawkesbury Bioregions accompanying documents

Monday, 14 March 2016

Mr. Peter Gallagher
Program Leader – Marine Protected Areas
Locked Bag 1
NELSON BAY NSW 2315

Dear Peter

OFFICIAL COMPLAINT

I am writing to lodge an official complaint re a statement in one of the Hawkesbury Bioregions accompanying documents “Review of 15 Pre – identified Sites”.

If you are not the appropriate person to deal with this complaint could you please advise ASAP.

On page 34 which deals with the North Harbour Reserve it justifies the lock – out of spearfishers with this statement “Rationale for excluding spearfishing was based on research from the U.S.A. at the time of declaration (1982) which indicated that this fishing method makes fish less approachable by passive divers wanting to photograph or study them (DPI internal 1979)”.

 This statement is a little milder than that made in writing in correspondence from B. Lynch for G.H. Knowles Director General Department of Agriculture to George Davies (Federal Secretary of the Australian Underwater Federation) dated 29th October 1985 – “The rationale for excluding spearfishing from the North Harbour Reserve is based on studies conducted in the United States of America which has shown that spearfishing, as opposed to most other common methods of fishing, scares the fish to the extent that they are no longer readily approachable by divers wanting to photograph or study them”.

 This statement was fraudulent and dishonest then and remains fraudulent, dishonest and misleading to this day.

 On receiving a copy of the above correspondence I queried the validity of this statement in correspondence to George Davies dated 29th November 1985 as I had copies of all known spearfishing studies and immediately suspected this statement was false.

George Davies again wrote to the Director General (undated, copy received by me on 5/2/86) requesting a copy of this “study” to enable us to determine its relevance to Australian conditions.

Following a meeting of the Recreational Fishermen’s Advisory Council George Davies received a verbal apology from Dr. Peter Ayres, Director of Fisheries for “some sections of the previous letter (29/10/85” however this was never put in writing and no copy of the “study” was produced, prompting another written request.

George Davies wrote again on 17th June 1986 after finally receiving a copy of an article concerning spearfishing in the United States of America. He said in part “In referring to this particular letter (29/10/1985) I find the information therein extremely misleading and inaccurate”.

The “study” had turned out to be nothing more than an article published in the American magazine “Skin Diver” by Bill Barada concerning the neglect of the John Pennekamp State Park and voicing a personal opinion as to spearfishing by the author.

To construe this article as a “study” or having any scientific validity is quite simply reprehensible.

At this particular period of time spearfishing with Scuba was (and still is) extremely prevalent in the U.S.A., whilst spearfishers in NSW had been pro-active in ensuring Scuba spearfishing was prohibited thus providing a depth sanctuary, an initiative that has been extremely successful in conserving shallow water species.

These facts never received any consideration, nor was any expert advice sought from spearfishing representatives in NSW.

An underwater photographer’s biggest problem when photographing fish is the noise his Scuba makes, both on inhalation and exhalation. This is what scares Fish! And this is why professional photographers employ breath – hold diving techniques or use Re – breathers when taking fish photo’s.

The whole art of successful spearfishing is to be able to approach fish without scaring them. The argument that fish are so scared by spearfishing that they are not approachable by other divers is ridiculous and once more evidence of prejudicial treatment by the Department.

I have several times found it necessary to accuse NSW Fisheries of prejudice when dealing with spearfishing matters. This has always been denied but there is no clearer case of prejudice than what has occurred with the locking – out of spearfishers from the North Harbour reserve.

PREJUDICE

An opinion, judgement or evaluation conceived without proof or competent evidence, but based on what seems valid to one’s own mind.

 PREJUDICIAL

Injurious, detrimental

 To be frank I am thoroughly disgusted that after all the correspondence from us concerning this issue, a statement that was corrupt and malicious and injurious to our fishing method is still persisting.

My last correspondence on this issue was to the Manager, Protected Areas on 15th May 2001.

One of my greatest concerns with my many dealings with Fisheries over the years is their inability to be frank and honest and to admit to mistakes and rectify them. The same applies equally to governments (of all persuasions).

My writing to you is just the first step. I am quite prepared to take this as far as necessary to have this injustice rectified.

Could you please advise as a matter of urgency your department’s intentions regarding a resolution?

Yours sincerely
Melven Brown AM

South Coast Championships 2016

The South Coast Champs held at Ulladulla was an outstanding success for the Southern Zone. Great weather, well run with a record sign on - 20 boats ranging from Alby’s refurbished 6 meter Haines down to vintage 1960’s Tinnies and the proverbial rubber duck. The SCC was run in conjunction with the Taylor Shield. 55 signed on for the SCC and all divers weighed in. There was a good representation from the Neptune’s, the Sea Lions, Barracudas and of course the Workers. It was the traditional 2 day format, with a quality fish format. 5 hours on Saturday and 6 hours on Sunday. The seas were virtually flat with only a small ground swell to give a bit of white water. Not a puff of wind for the 2 days. Visibility was a varied feast, from plankton rich cool 3 meters to a much warmer 15 meters or more. Spoilt for choice at Ulladulla some boats travelled North and South, near and far while others stayed put and fished the local bommies to great success ( if you could dive the murk.)

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Big Fish Competition – 2016

Big Fish Competition Results 2016

After a postponed comp on 27th February the comp was held the following Saturday, 5th March.

Open

  1. Steve Nash Kingfish 15700
  2. Darren Coulter Kingfish 15500
  3. Kyle Johnston Kingfish 13700
  4. Luke Beckinsale Kingfish 13100
  5. Alby Cooke Kingfish 11200
  6. Steve Elias Black Drummer 2380
  7. Jacob Elias Black Drummer 2200
  8. Guy Thornycroft Gold Spot 1700
  9. Bill Rule Spangled Emperor 1390
  10. Angus McCook Morwong 1000

Junior

  1. Hayden Montgomery Gold Spot 2180
  2. Patrick McGimpsey Black Drummer 1810
  3. James Blair Red Morwong 800
Haden Mongomery
Haden Mongomery

Big Fish 2016 - photo 4 Big Fish 2016 - photo 1

Alby Cook
Alby Cook