Clubs call to lift fishing bans
While many are aware of the closed season for the Murray cod (September, October and November), many would not be aware of the total closure to all forms of fishing in the area of the Murray River from Mulwala to Tocumwal during that time.
The reasons for this closure that was put in place some two decades ago were to protect the last self-sustaining trout cod population available. Due to the restocking and re-establishment of the trout cod in several locations across Victoria and NSW the species has now significantly recovered. The species are readily identified by the fishing public and the majority know and accept that they are protected. It is known that several of the locations are now seeing natural breeding of the species and self-sustaining populations are again establishing.
This closure has over an extended period had disastrous impacts on the social and economic abilities of the adjoining communities. Water management has, to say the least, been less than ideal with low water levels during Easter and school holiday periods deterring tourists from the region. These low flows have often created flow-on impacts such as blue-green algae threats. With local business struggling through these events they are then faced with a total ban on all fishing-related activities for another three months during spring. The fishing ban extends to all forms of fishing and bait collection and ironically also gives total protection to the pest species European carp.
South West Anglers Association, together with local fishing clubs, Cobram/Barooga, Numurkah, Tocumwal, Berrigan and Southern Riverina Hunting Club, understand the pain that these closures have caused, and now coming out of the devastating COVID-19 lockdowns call for the total bans to be relaxed for the 2020 season with a view to a complete investigation into the ongoing need for the bans to continue at all.
At this time, we need local business to assess the impacts of the closures and come forward with some data that supports the need to have the bans lifted. Could all those with business interests in the towns adjacent to this part of the Murray River please contact Stefan Bruni 0427 862 203, Sam Kennedy (03) 5872 2363 or Jim Muirhead 0429 576 599.
Jim Muirhead, South West Anglers Association
IN OTHER NEWS:
New resources for chronic pain
Chronic pain affects over 3.2 million Australians and is arguably one of the world's fastest growing conditions. It can significantly impact a person's quality of life and mental wellbeing, often leading to isolation and feelings of hopelessness.
This National Pain Week, which is set to run from July 27 until August 2, Chronic Pain Australia, the peak national grassroots voice of Australians living with chronic pain, is launching two important new resources to help educate and reduce stigma in the community - a video series called Faces of Pain, which tells the stories of everyday Australians living with chronic pain, as well as a new booklet called Understanding chronic pain to explain what pain is and how best to manage it. These can be found at nationalpainweek.org.au.
During National Pain Week, people living with chronic pain are also encouraged to share their experiences and ideas at chronicpainaustralia.org.au/forum.
Together, we can improve the lives of those living in pain.
We appreciate your support.