Many threats to our bay’s resources

PRECIOUS RESOURCE: This image shows the huge eco-system the Bay supports and which lies threatened by exploitation. Picture: RAGGY CHARTERS
PRECIOUS RESOURCE: This image shows the huge eco-system the Bay supports and which lies threatened by exploitation. Picture: RAGGY CHARTERS

LIFE is about choices and we invariably envy those who make what we would have considered the right choice at the time.

For instance, when do you venture out with your rod and tackle box for that catch that will make the outing worthwhile? The timing between conditions and opportunity is often the decider whether we are successful or not.

How many times have I witnessed this having spent hours persevering at a spot to have a stranger walk in, throw in his line and suddenly hook a fish? With that he leaves, as all he wanted was a fry.

You spend the next few hours wondering if that was the only fish in the sea. Strangely enough, it is about choices. The selected bait is often the critical factor that determines whether you catch or not.

The bait versus the species, too, is most important. It helps little to throw bait at fish that are in search of food far removed from your choice for them. Yes, like us humans, fish are selective. One day they will feed on squid, the next sardine, and so the cycle goes on.

Understanding this trend is what makes anglers stand out among the rest. Those who take the time to study conditions and patterns will be more successful in time. Angling is a game of experience that only time provides.

On to another matter, the sustainability of our resources is understood by few; however the decision makers are seldom those who are truly in the know.

Making decisions on who gets quotas and who can responsibly manage those quotas seems to be a huge bone of contention.

We see the launch of small-scale fisheries and ponder over who will manage those who do not operate through ports where the landing of fish can be monitored.

We now see the whole coastline targeted by fortune-seekers and an overburdened compliance inspectorate. I would have thought that an ambitious undertaking to empower the unemployed and hungry would have been met with a counter-balance to protect this resource that will suffer extreme pressure, as it is human nature to plunder the opportunity when the pickings are easy.

Remember conditions are not always favourable. So, people will legitimise their deeds within their conscience until one day they are caught red-handed and suddenly become very remorseful.

Sadly the mesh of the net is so large that many slip through. The policies regarding working hours for the compliance inspectorate also needs a huge re-think.

Crime in this country is not undertaken in broad daylight unless it follows the lines of the “smash and grab” tactic. In order to counter the trend of poaching, work is often needed to be undertaken after sunset and before sunrise. Office hour routines will not yield much success, unfortunately.

Without dedicated personnel, departmental leadership and a much-needed volunteer force, not a lot will be effective in combating what will leave our precious resources in an un-recoverable state not long from now.

Our bay’s wildlife is incredibly diverse and, compared globally, it remains a jewel. It is time to recognise this.

– Reel Time with Wayne Rudman

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