Summer has come and gone for another year – I guess March technically qualifies as the start of autumn.
March brings with it many opportunities, different fish species start to make their presence felt and some others move on to other places.
The big buzz for autumn will be the southern bluefin tuna. These marvellous game fish are the staple target in Victorian and Tasmanian waters at this time of year.
It seems everyone with a boat big enough and the gear to cope with them will be on the water.
While I am no game fisher, I really appreciate the sense of adventure involved in heading way out off shore chasing a fish which might weigh more than the angler.
The past three seasons seem to have been extremely good, certainly in my neck of the woods in Tasmania the amount of tuna has been excellent. Big fish, plenty of fish and a very long season kept all eyes on Eaglehawk Neck – the season basically ran right through July for the keen anglers who were able to pick gaps in the weather.
There is however a storm on the horizon, and it isn’t of the weather variety.
I can see a time very soon where pressure will come to bear to further restrict anglers’ take of southern bluefin tuna.
As most anglers would be aware, commercial tuna fishers have had quotas slashed as governments move in reaction to overseas stocks plummeting.
It remains to be seen if that overseas reality applies to southern bluefin tuna in our southern waters, but I am sure we can expect some more regulations to emerge.
When is anyone’s guess and with a federal election due later this year and state elections in Tasmania and Victoria, the pollies might not be so keen to pull another blue on with anglers.
But you never know, if they feel that the pendulum of political opinion sways away from anglers, then we can probably expect to get a pounding.
I’d urge all anglers to keep their eye on this issue and follow what the various lobby groups are up to – the last thing we need in another ridiculous situation like the mako shark issue.
On the topic of elections, Tasmania is due for one in March and Victorians head to the polls later in 2010.
Let the candidates wanting your vote know that you fish and you vote.
Ask them what their views are on recreational angling, and what policies their respective parties have to promote our recreational passion.
While there are some big non-angling issues out there, fishing is where we retreat from all of those stresses and concerns.
The last thing we need is our recreational fishing being compromised or forgotten by politicians looking for another term in office.
Just let them know that we fish, we vote and we care.Reads: 811