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We need your support for the protection of Yabby and Shrimp against over fishing before September 10 2010

They maybe small and I agree not so pretty but without them we lose species that define Australia such as the Platypus. This is a call to action to write a quick submission on the policy settings to protect the once common yabbie.

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Overfishing of the Common Yabby (Cherax sp) and shrimp species under Fisheries Victoria Regulations

Updates

New Nominations have been sent relating to the importance of:

 

Summary

Yabbies:

Without any scientific data to support an increase in yabbie harvesting, In 2009 the Victorian Fisheries regulations for recreational fishing of yabbies was increased from 20 litres of whole yabbies per person per day to 30 litres per day which equates to approximately 6000 bait sized yabbies. By comparison in NSW and SA only 200 whole yabbies of any size per day is the limit. Also there is no requirement to put back females that are laying eggs. Yabbies form a large portion of the diet of Platypus, Turtles, Eels and many native fish and if they are over fished these species will suffer.  Further more under existing regulations there is no requirement for recreational fishers to distinguish between the common yabbie and the endangered species so people may be breaking the law by taking endangered species.

A nomination for the protection of Yabbies and Shrimps from overfishing has NOT been supported by the scientific advisory committee of the Department of Sustainability and Environment.

Shrimp:

There is no requirement to return berried females. This will dramatically impact on populations.
 There is no requirement to be able to distinguish between shrimp species.
 A loss of habitat due to the drought has caused a decline in shrimp populations.
 There was no scientific data to show sustainability with the increased take limit.
 The increase in the daily shrimp take was to simplify a regulation.
 Increasing a limit by 20 times with no scientific data to justify the increase will result in a potentially threatening process affecting more than 2 species.

Background:

There are currently over 720,000 recreational fishers in Victoria who are licensed to catch a range of aquatic species including the yabby Cherax sp. (C. destructor, C. albidus, C. sp un-named). On the 2nd March 2009, Victorian Fisheries regulations were changed in which they increased the daily take of yabbies by recreational fishers from 20 litres of whole yabbies per person per day to 30 litres. In this catch, there is no requirement to return berried females (females with eggs) and no restriction on the size of the yabby taken. Thirty litres equates to 6000 bait sized yabbies, which is similar to commercially harvested quantities. In NSW and SA recreational fishers are only permitted to catch 200 whole yabbies per person per day of any size and they are required to return buried females.

Of most concern is the lack of scientific data provided to support the increase in daily harvesting to show that this increase is sustainable and that it is not going to significantly impact the ecosystem. Yabbies form a large portion of the diet of Platypus, Rakali, Turtles, Eels and numerous native fish including Murray Cod, Macquarie Perch and Silver Perch (listed under FFG).. Dr Appleford, former Fisheries ED, has stated “the daily bag and possession limit of 100 Bass yabbies per person will be sufficient for the legitimate personal needs of recreational fishers”.

Although the current regulation allows for all 3 Cherax sp. to be caught, other non-Cherax species like Geocharax, Gramastacus, Engaeus, and Euastacus, can be inadvertently impacted as there is no requirement for recreational fishers to be able to distinguish between the species. As recreational fishers are not required to submit catch per effort information, it is unlikely we will have information related to yabby declines.  For these reasons the yabby should be listed under the Flaura and Forna Guarantee (FFG) as this new regulation is a potentially threatening process.

Stephen Chara who holds a commercial bait license submitted nominations to the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Department of Sustainability and Environment to amend the changes to the changed fisheries regulations.  Stephen has a lot of experience on the ground and is very passionate about the decline in numbers and size of the species and the effect it will have on other threatened and native species.  All of Stephens reasoning is attached below.

The Scientific Advisory Committees preliminary recommendation is not to support either of the nominations 808 or 809.

This is also the the position of the Director of Fisheries Management Travis Dowling and Minister for Agriculture Mr Joe Helper MP 

SUBMISSIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BEFORE FRIDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER

yabbies with ruler

shrimp with ruler

For guidelines on making a full submission click here

To contact Stephen Chara  click here

For a full comprehensive history of current nominations and responses see below

 
REFERENCE
 GROUP
DOCUMENT DATE DOCUMENT
 SUMMARY
Nominations to FFG-SAC 08/01/10 Nomination under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act of “Overfishing for bait of the common yabby (Cherax sp) and localised endemic crayfish species under Fisheries Victoria Regulations”.Read More
  26/01/10 Nomination under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act of “Overfishing of native shrimp (Paratya australiensis) under Fisheries (Shrimp) Notice No. 11/2009”. Read more
  27/9/210 Nomination under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act of “Severe impact on yabby populations due to no requirement to return berried yabbies (Cherax spp) under Fisheries Victoria Regulations 2009”. Read More
Reply from SAC 4/08/10 Public notice – Preliminary Recommendations of the SAC Read More
  10/08/10 Making a submission on SAC Preliminary recommendations. Read More
  26/07/10 Preliminary Recommendation on a nomination for listing. BAIT YABBY Read More
  26/07/10 Preliminary Recommendation on a nomination for listing. SHRIMP Read More
Summary of Response Templates 26/08/10 Summary of Reply to SAC Nom 808 documents. Read More
Response templates
 Stephen Chara
19/08/10 If there is no scientific data available then mathematical calculations should be a valid method of showing a potentially threatening process. Read More
  19/08/10 “Taking yabbies at a commercial rate will deplete their numbers and have broader ecosystem impacts” Read More
  20/08/10 Yabbies are being purchased from Interstate due to lack of local supply. Read more
  19/08/10 By not being required to return berried females is a Potentially Threatening Process Read more
  20/08/10 Shows the illegal take of Euastacus sp. Read More
  20/08/10 Shows more than two species can be taken by Recreational Fishers. Read More
  20/08/10 Shows Aquaculture output at nearly zero therefore more pressure on wild catch. Read more
  20/08/10 Increasing the daily take of shrimp by 20 times is a Potentially Threatening Process Read More

Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act - The Scientific Advisory Committee

The Scientific Advisory Committee is established under section 8 of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. The functions of the Committee are (a) to advise the Minister on the listing of taxa or communities of flora and fauna and potentially threatening processes and (b) to advise the Minister on any other flora and fauna conservation matters. For Details of the members click here

Director Fisheries Management - Travis Dowling - Under Mr Joe Helper MP

... Accordingly, I have decided to retain the current bag limit under the current circumstances ...

Nomination non Cherax Spp

Nomination under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act of “Severe impact on populations of non Cherax spp due to no requirement to be able to differentiate crayfish species under Fisheries Victoria Regulations 2009”. I wish to nominate the following potentially threatening process for listing under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. I believe that the nomination shows that the process is eligible for listing according to the criteria given in the nomination.

Nomination Berried Yabbies 509

Since the SAC did not acknowledge the importance of returning berried female yabbies in nomination 808,

I have made this a separate nomination as a Potentially Threatening Process.

Nomination by Stephen Chara - Yabby

Nomination under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act of “Overfishing for bait of the common yabby (Cherax sp) and localised endemic crayfish species under Fisheries Victoria Regulations”.

Nomination by Stephen Chara - Shrimp

Nomination under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act of “Overfishing of native shrimp (Paratya australiensis) under Fisheries (Shrimp) Notice No. 11/2009”.

Scientific Advisory Comittee rejection of nominations

Public notice – Preliminary Recommendations of the SAC

Preliminary Recommendation on a nomination for listing. BAIT YABBY

Preliminary Recommendation on a nomination for listing. BAIT YABBY

Preliminary Recommendation on a nomination for listing. SHRIMP

Preliminary Recommendation on a nomination for listing. SHRIMP

Reply to SAC Nom 808 - Calculations on potential yabby take

If there is no scientific data available then mathematical calculations should be a valid method of showing a potentially threatening