Fish numbers, a fishy game or what?

Part 1.

“The school of fish was enormous. I’ve never seen anything like it in my 42 years fishing,” he said. “I put the school down at 1,000 tonnes but it could have been as big as 10,000.”

Long-time tuna fisherman Tony Santic tells of the biggest school of southern bluefin tuna he has ever seen – in January this year. Video captures some of the day here…

Mr Santic and others in the industry say it is the best season in living memory in the Great Australian Bight. He says one school of tuna he saw on a recent fishing trip was so big it would have been dangerous to catch, as the boat would be unable to handle it. They argue scientists are wrong about dwindling tuna stocks, and say quota cuts should be reversed.

“There’s fish everywhere so where is the quota going?” he said.

“It was easy enough to take it away real quick so they should be giving it back to the Australian people as quickly as possible because someone made a very grave error.”

Mr Santic is now based at Geelong in Victoria after many years of fishing out of Port Lincoln in South Australia.

(item taken from here)

Part 2.

TRACY BOWDEN, ABC PRESENTER: While the east coast battles rising flood waters, the west is struggling with a heat wave and a different kind of threat.

A number of shark sightings have raised alarm bells and forced the evacuation of Perth’s popular Trigg Island Beach.

Attacks are relatively rare, and fisheries authorities say they’re yet to see any significant increase in the number of large sharks, since conservation efforts were stepped up in the 1990’s.

But surfers and fishermen in Western Australia are telling a different story.

DANIELLE PARRY, REPORTER: These extreme surfers regularly risk their lives riding some of the world’s biggest breaks off WA’s south-west coast. They use jet skis to reach waves as tall as buildings and deep water where sharks are known to lurk.

KERBY BROWN, SURFER: It’s definitely in the back of your head, especially when you’re just floating up behind the ski and we’re on coloured boards. We’re pretty much like lures. We’re pretty much trawling around for sharks…

More of this transcript here

Item from ABC tv 730report – 28th Dec 2010 (6min video clip – needs flv player)

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