Recfishwest - Yes or No?

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Recfishwest - Yes or No?

Post by Islander » Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:25 am

Recfishwest - do they really represent us as anglers - Yes or No?

Are they really on top of the current issues - Yes or No?

Do You Support them with membership Funds - Yes or No?

Whats wrong with them - why DON'T they seem to enjoy the confidence of the majority of anglers?

In another thread here (about the new recreational license fees)... "The Great Tax Grab" ... php?t=1151 - I am pretty harsh on them for the secret squirrel society they have become.

Their members, or posters to Wangler Forums where they seem to have their "permanent mouthpiece' in the form of a beaver domiciled, questions frequently go without answers, and one starts to question whether it is because they honestly don't know - or would rather not say!

I'm going to quote a few examples to make my point.

Source ... ey_/tm.htm

When will you be able to post these recommendations Scott or Terry,

Not before they have been discussed with the Minister - currently scheduled for Monday morning.

Paying members cannot know beforehand - what is going to be discussed in a meeting with the Fisheries minister about a possible package to alter the proposed new rec fishing licenses?

To me that seems "unethical"...why pay - only to then be kept out of the loop - and be USED to suggest that the organisation represents your interests and views?

Just WHO's interests and whos views are to be put? Surely the paid up membership have a right to know that if, THEY have made suggestions towards the improvement package?

Hang on a sec , if I have missed something here please set me straight , but why the hell cant it be discussed with us BEFORE the minister ?

Does it not concern us ?

Not only was I not privvy to the meeting but I can not know the details till the time is right !!!!!!!!
It would seem the members aren't too happy about that.

Source: ... ey_/tm.htm
who decided that we should not know the details of what was decided till after it has been taken to the minister and why?

It was a collective request to use discretion and judgement. It was not an absolute embargo.

It was based on long experience of dealing with Government, organisations, the media, etc in situations like this (disallowance motions threatened, political activity, etc, etc).

Discussion with Ministers (and possible further negotiations) in an environment like this should not be done via fishing forums or via the media.

in summary

1. members shouldn't know before hand, what package Recfishwest is going to take to the minister.

2 Members (and anyone else) shouldn't discuss the details publicly in forums,


3. the press who are sposed to look after the public's right to know - shouldn't report on it in the press".


Obviously their own members aren't too impressed ... ey_/tm.htm
Are we able to get more specific details on the plan proposed to the Minister anywhere?
As I have shown in the previous thread here - the actual plan put to the minister is something that he and fisheries have already indicated previously - they won't accept in reduced bag limits and we've shown the reasons given by fisheries - why!

That's the best they could come up with?

No wonder they are embarrassed - in that position i too would be ashamed.

This is not the only episode tho - where members genuine inquiries are fobbed off either.

Here's another recent example to make my point.

Source ... ey_/tm.htm
ORIGINAL: Michael Heslewood

the biggest flood of just size crays was from approx 1999--2005..with huge amounts of smaller sizes around ..........before that going back to the late 1970,s it was a mixed bag with jumbos being regularly taken even in the shallows
i find it hard to believe that the crays have suddenly changed their breeding /settlement pattern after all this time in the cycle of life on the planet ??
Apparently the material for the apperatus used to collect the puerulus was changed and this change in material correspoded with the drasitic reduction of numbers in the puerulus collected.

I've already posted this reply in If anyone thinks such a simple explanation wouldn't have been publicised by the Dept of Fisheries by now, and the Minister wouldn't have been advised, well...

1. Is the Puerulus collection/sampling method conducted this season the same as past seasons
2. Is a new method being used that might be giving erroneous results
...or there's some other simple explanation


Good questions. As far as I know, the answer is YES to 1. NO to 2. and "There's NO other simple explanation"

That's based on:-

1. Lots of references in Dept of Fisheries Research publications which talk of maintaining the same survey methods so that the results can be compared "like for like" over all the years. To the point that in the past even when it is shown and Fisheries Research agree that the survey methods are flawed and the results have serious errors, they are reluctant/refuse to change the survey methods because that will mean they can't compare future and past results.

2. Nothing I have seen published by Dept of Fisheries, or reported in the media, or in the Western Rock Lobster papers says anything different. I am happy to be corrected if I have missed anything which has been published

3. I am sure that if the answers were reversed, then this would be widely publicised as possibly "explaining" the very poor settlement. Fact is, if they know or have any theories, the researchers are keeping that information to themselves at present.

There's lots going on in Dept of Fisheries Research which is not published (yet?) See Western Rock Lobster Fishery - Current Fishery Trends ... s.php?0206

No other simple explanation!.


Source: ... ey_/tm.htm
Reproductive biology issues for managing the western rock lobster broodstock
High exploitation rates and protection of large mature females but not males, has resulted in a very distorted
sex ratios of mature animals across the lobster fishery which can lead to reduced brood sizes. Size at first
maturity has been decreasing in all areas over the last 30 years, from selective fishing pressures or temperature
changes. Large female lobsters carry two broods per season, but small lobsters carry only one brood. Egg
production has fallen sharply at the Abrolhos since 2000, but has increased in the coastal population. ... x.php?0401
or indeed from here at our own forums.

Source: ... php?t=1151
A similar problem exists with the much vaunted Lobster Fishery "collapse" Murray.

Again not ALL the information is being provided to the Minister.

Try to recall, that I'm a Fisheries Consultant, with peer reviewed scientific paper on fish diseases (for AQIS) published - who has WORKED with the Fisheries Dept WA researchers on our states cray boats, during out of season bait trials etc.

The purelis (juvenile crays) settlement results are basically nil - as low as we've ever seen them. The fear is the industry will collapse, and Hon Fisheries Minister Normal Moore has responded under the "worst case" scenario, to preserve the remaining stocks.

It makes a complete mockery of the much publicized "international sustainable fishery award" bestowed, by an international conservation body on WA's Rock Lobster Fishery for sustainability, when the resource is on the verge of total collapse within 2 or 3 years of the international sustainability award being made.

Now - here's whats most likely caused the "false reading" Fisheries Dept researchers received from their purelis settlement devices.

"Fisheries Management Policy" of protecting breeding stocks (setose, tar spot & berried females) being returned to the water.

After several years watching the catches at the Abrolhos Islands during my Lobster Industry research, I predicted this phenomenon years ago, and now it has come to pass.

By returning these particular breeding Lobster to the water - we are carrying out a selective breeding process. Earlier years it would be a fortnight into the season before we saw any large numbers of setose or breeding females. Now however, because the early breeders don't get sent to the factory, they breed successfully, while any that are late breeders have already been caught and sent to the processors. Now days when the "Island season" starts, setose females are everywhere, from day 1.

We are selecting with our "management practise for stocks of Lobsters" ones that are genetically predisposed to breed early!

Those ones get thrown back and reproduce every year - late breeders are caught and removed from the gene pool.

Now we have females genetically selected by our management process to only breed early. As a result their purelis settle much earlier (1 or 2 months) than the usual "breeding season". Their purelis do go settle on the Fisheries purelis "devices". However Fisheries don't check them to predict the season until the same time of year each year (now too late)!

Now that we have effectively "moved" the breeding season forward with this artificial selection process overa long number of years - those purelis that WERE settled in the devices, and have grown 2 months more to the point they are too BIG to live in the hair type fibers of the purelis settlement devices, and so they release and move on, to finding holes in the reef to live in, and food quantities of deitrus on the ocean floor that they need to live.

The Fisheries Dept reserachers come along at the same dates they always have (a month or two, too late now) to shake out the purelis settlement devices to count purelis and find little if any (only the small percentage of purelis progeny from the few surviving late breeders, who are still small enough to live in the collectors at collection time).

The researchers do their extrapolations on these belated low numbers, the way they always have, and predict a complete collapse in the stocks as a result, and advise the Hon Minister accordingly.

The reality is, the crays have bred early because we have been genetically selecting for early breeders with our "setose, tar spot & berried females", selection management strategy.

Now the whole industry is in a mess - the banks are hearing all about it publicly and won't be willing to invest to back our Lobster fishers with the capital they need to ride this out etc - a total industry debacle.

One caused by well meaning but poor Fisheries Management practice, in the first place (genetically selecting for early breeders).

Any professional natural resource manager (and remember I was one with CALM for 8 years) will tell you that the BEST harvest strategy across any species population is one that takes equal numbers across all ages and sex classes, WITHIN the "sustained yeild harvest" percentage of the population (Total Allowable Catch in IFM parlance).

So - why do we have all these complicated rules about male or female crayfish and only certain sizes and whether they are breeding or not breeding etc. It has artificially altered the entire species gene pool by selecting for early breeders.

All it can do over a long period of time is damage to the resource - by weakening it - by removing its genetic diversity and by moving the breeding season forward such that it doesn't suit our natural currents for local dispersal..

(You know when I was a kid - Pro Lobster Fishers fished all year round - thru winter and all).

Our fisheries are being mismanaged Murray, on "unsound natural resource management ideology" designed to "produce more of a certain product that the market wants" to satisfy the industry's marketing needs - NOT on whats best for the actual natural resource.

Last year also, is one of those where the Leeuwin Currents and la nina / el nino have reversed overall Indian Ocean Currents, and most of our purelis because it is now seasonally early, thru genetic selection as a result of poor management strategy, ended up off the East African Coast!

Their coast is different to ours - no where near the amount of near shore reef systems, principally deep water & also no where near the commercial fishing pressure of this state. Those purelis will do just fine protected in the deep water off the West African coast - and will reproduce and send their purelis back our way in 4 years time to settle and grow here in WA, replenishing our stocks as the La Nina / El Nino Currents reverse yet again.

Don't believe me?

Well - IF we had purelis settlement devices in the collapsed warm water volcano caldera of St Pauls Island (French territorial antarctic waters between Australia and Africa), we'd have seen bumper collection of purelis as they made their way on the Indian ocean current from WA to Africa. (St Pauls was the site of a French lobster canning factory back in the 1920'2 - 30's)
Heaps of our lobsters there & they all arrive as purelis from here on their way to Africa on the indian ocean currents!

Fisheries WA cannot do proper purelis predictions analysis without treating the stocks in a holistic way as "Indian Ocean Stocks" and monitoring them far more widely than they now do IMHO.

The process is fundamentally flawed Murray and has given us a false reading on this occasion. Part of it is altered ocean currents, but part of it is our flawed management policy selecting for early breeders as well.

Indeed there IS a lot of published evidence out there, to suggest that the Minster is being badly advised and there are reasons to question the Purelis settlement results from changed purelis medium in the settlement structures, to later breeding cycles as a result of our catch managemet stratgeies to protect breeding females.


So again - the question arises..

How do they represent their grass roots members, when they run a secret squirrel society where members opinions don't count, members are kept out of the loop deliberately, discussion is publicly frowned upon, even publication by the media to inform anglers is not welcomed.

Worse it appears those in the organisation are out of touch with the issues of the day, have no original clues of their own as to possible solutions and are not capable of putting a plan to the Minister that represents members interests or views?

That in and of itself is worry enough.

Their "spokesperson" is a moderator of the forum board where these discussions need to take place. In my experience, if you do or say anything that he doesn't agree with or already know, or doesn't want made public, your posts will be either;-
and if you persist
you'll be banned.

That's hardly a proper forum for discussion of issues affecting members. Its certainly not open and frank.

Lastly this dribble from the CEO asking everyone to stop criticising him and his organisations efforts.

Source ... 799/tm.htm.
Recfishwest puts all its submissions up on the web and they are the product of much more than mine or any one members of the Board. They are pretty good, although none of them can ever make the 100% pass mark that so many set as the minimum.

Frank Prokop
Obviously the submissions don't get posted to the web until Franks supposedly done his behind closed door deals and there's no discussions to be entered into, by members at all, specially not in a public forum.

Color me dumb, but it appears to me - that the organisation has lost the support of the grass roots anglers in representing them.

All one could POSSIBLY conclude from their actions and words are that they want Anglers money - but aren't interested in their participation, input, ideas, or intellectual property, and will go to extreme fascist lengths to publicly suppress same.

Worse they don't make the effort to stay current with topics of importance to rec anglers, and then after excluding the best and brightest by alienating them, and restricting them from the debate, come up with old & out dated answers to problems that have already been rejected by Fisheries in the past as "their best effort".

IS there anyone here who actively financially supports this organization?

I know they will never get $ from me while the sad situation as it is stands - just wondered if I'm the only one who continually shakes his head in disbelief at just how bad the situation has become.

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Post by wookie » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:53 am

I am a member.

I do see your point and do wonder sometimes if they are really on the right track.

Unfortunately as rec anglers we dont really have any other groups working for us.

They are certainly a dedicated bunch of guys that give up alot of their time and resources to try to help us fishos.

Imagine how frustrating it must be to sit on their side of the table and watch the infighting between all of us. Seems like unless we present a united front it will be lost to all. :?

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in 1

Post by Islander » Thu Sep 03, 2009 1:22 pm

Unfortunately as rec anglers we don't really have any other groups working for us.
You have nailed it in one there Wookie.
Who else COULD have worked for Rec Anglers?

I seem to recall a few years back, I was asked by the Federal "Fishing Party" to head up a WA state branch of the Party - to sit members in marginal seats in WA against sitting Labor minister s- so that we could "do deals" on behalf of Anglers for our preferences (assuming we wouldn't actually get a seat!).

To do that required some 250 paid up members & $25 a membership for the 4 year term.

Recfishwest actually came out with a membership/recruitment drive at the time to effectively "block us".

Their slogan?...words to the effect "Give the $22 for a Recfishwest membership" and assured everyone they could do more for rec anglers than any state political party. :roll:

It would seem any other rec angler representative body are a real threat (embarrassment) to Recfishwest in their ability to "claim all rec anglers" statistically in WA under their umbrella as they so often do.

They claim to represent WA's 600 odd thousand rec anglers in press releases and dealing with Govt - while they couldn't round up 1000 financial members if they won lotto and paid the memberships themselves. :lol:

I know that it does frustrate them that they cannot unite rec anglers behind their cause.

One really has to ask why that is?

Could it be because of examples such as I've given above?

Could it be because they alienate their own members and potential new members, by excluding them fro0m meetings, forums etc and ignoring their ideas and input?

Could it be because they have made it into some sort of secret squirrel society?

Could it be because they try to stifle public discussions and debate?

Could it be because they can't come up with workable alteratoves to put to the Minister when even there members who they have frozen out of the process - could have done so?

At the end of the day - it is about leadership.

A great leader would be able to unite his troops behind the cause.

Consistently this is an areas Recfishwest has failed in, yet they have had the same leader a long while now.

At some point - they have to admit that leadership has failed it's members - regardless of any minor successes along the way - purely because in doing so they have alienated so many of their existing members and at the same time caused so many others who might otherwise join up - to with hold membership

It's got to the point there are a select minority of secret squirrels with little credibility - who claim to represent us all - and at the end of the day are letting everyone down.

Does it take another organization to make it clear they are a small minority group with a few vested interests?

What can Recfishwest do - to get all anglers to present a united front?

I personally don't believe they have that capability!

I'd love to be proven wrong - because that would be in all anglers interests Wookie.

Perhaps that's their challenge?

Do they have a 5 year plan?

Do they have new membership drive targets?

Just where are they taking us?

If they fail to plan - then they plan to fail!.

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excellent and subjective report!!

Post by rusty » Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:52 am

Once again islander you hit the nail on the head, it appears you and wookie and myself are the only one's answering to our posts aye.
I mailed Murray and he mailed me back he is evidentley not happy about the dissions being made and i think tuesday there will be some falck flying so lets see what transpires about this subject :wink:
I for one think that the current minister should maybe stop and think or just dissapear, heh heh heh :lol: :lol: .
which ever the out come he has me thinks lost all credibility with the majority of the fishing community.
As you say Islander recfish west has also got lotsa probs especially iff some turkey is using it as a platform for his future political aspirations which it seems to me are obvious!

Bring on tuesday aye!!! :roll:
I live with fear sometimes she lets me go fishing!!!!!!!!

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Post by Islander » Sun Sep 06, 2009 4:53 pm

Indeed Rusty.

Yes it seems others aren't as interested in the issue as us maybe.

To be fair to Hon Norman Moore- I reckon as Mines minister he hasn't done a bad job, in securing this 50 billion Chinese Gas Deal.

Maybe that's whats occupied so much of his time that the Fisheries role is not what we would expect?

I copied my email to Murray - to Colin Barnett's office email addy, - the one where I suggest he n Hal's wife should be seconded to assist the Minister to Fisheries as assistant ministers or something.

I really hope that someone listens Rusty.

As it is I think maybe the Charter industry is doomed with these new laws.

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