New state reforms will cripple industry, fishers say
HOWARD Davies believes the changes to the State Government's fishing regulations will help nobody.
Coming from a commercial background, he said he has seen and predicted many of the changes.
His father, grandfather, two brothers and his sister, for a period of time, were all commercial fisher people.
But they were pushed out of the industry with their ever increasing regulations and rules.
He said his dad loved fishing for mullet and there was a code between the fishers.
"In the strait, Maaroom, Boonooroo, there were 29 fishing crews," he said.
"They would self regulate by talking to each other they didn't go chasing the fish too early or take too much of a particular fish."
Howard's father attended the fishing league in Brisbane every month.
The born and bred Boonooroo man said that rules were needed but nowadays he believes the government is trying to close down small business.
Howard believes it was the start to the end of fishing when the government brought in the log books.
It was a roll on effect with him guessing the governments next move - tickets to skip your vehicle, GPS tracking, cutting the catch in half and closing down good fishing grounds.
"The government has slowly pushed them out added more cost to licence fees - they are bringing more rules in all the time.
"I don't know all the new reforms - but it will effect the bloke that goes down and throws a line in the water.
"It will eventually come to you going down fishing or you go out in a boat, you will be allowed to only catch so many fish and that will be it - it won't be viable and cost you a fortune if you want to get a good feed.
"I believe its going to get worse - look at the dairy cattle - the government have got people in there who don't know what they are talking about."
Howard said he knows of fishermen giving away their boats and equipment to get out of the industry.
"It's exactly like the man on the land - it's getting tougher. They have all but crippled it now.
"Those getting into retired age are getting out while they can sell it.
"The regulations need to be annalised a hell of a lot more before they make the changes so that it is not detrimental to the man on the water."