Re­search pair visit Moss­man

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

IF you want to know about the state of cer­tain fish stocks and fish­eries, ask lo­cal fish­er­men.

That’s what two Univer­sity of Qld re­searchers have done.

Ruth Thurstan and Sarah Buckley have spo­ken to around 100 fish­ers in the Cairns re­gion in their quest to build up long-term data.

“With­out a long-term per­spec­tive we don’t know how abun­dant our fish­eries used to be, and this ul­ti­mately af­fects how we man­age th­ese species to­day,” the re­searchers say.

They have two species in mind: “We chose Span­ish mack­erel and co­ral trout be­cause they are iconic for recre­ational and com­mer­cial Queens­land fish­ers, and both fish­eries have a long his­tory.

“By in­ter­view­ing fish­ers about their per­sonal ob­ser­va­tions of change, which could span a pe­riod of 50 years or more, we hope to present a long-term view of th­ese fish­eries, and pro­vide novel in­for­ma­tion for man­agers, recre­ational and com­mer­cial fish­ers, and the wider pub­lic.”

Both re­searchers are com­ing to the Moss­man Bowls Club on Tues­day, Novem­ber 10, 7-7:30pm,at the in­vi­ta­tion of the Lo­cal Marine Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee (LMAC).

Sadly, their re­search so far in­di­cates bad news. “Some of the peo­ple we spoke to have been fish­ing for many decades, and of those who have fished the longest, nearly all ob­served de­clines in the abun­dance of Span­ish mack­erel and co­ral trout,” the re­searchers say.

En­try is free and ev­ery­one is wel­come. Info: 0427 155 775.

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