The Campaign - Fisheries
What will happen to our Fisheries?
Gulf supports a long-standing sustainable prawn trawl fishery which
provides Exmouth king prawns to the Perth market. The 16 licences
in the fishery harvest on average 1000 tonnes of the succulent delicacy
every year, providing employment for over 100 people and producing
some $15 million of income.
The prawn fishery is known to be dependent on juvenile recruitment
from the shallow seagrass and algal beds on the eastern side of
the gulf. Regular pulses of nutrients enrich these seagrass beds
following outflows from the hinterland after cyclonic rainfall,
or heavy winter rains. Studies of these seagrass beds following
the devastating impacts of cyclone Vance in March 1999, demonstrated
the reliance of these nursery areas on terrestrial nutrient run-off.
MG Kailis' Giant Prawn announcing
to all Exmouth visitors the the nature of their business
fishery is closely monitored by WA Fisheries research staff and
is managed cooperatively by Fisheries Department and industry based
on real-time information supplied by world's leading technology.
The fishery is often quoted as the "Best-Managed" Prawn
Fishery in the world
The Exmouth region also is home to a pearl oyster fishery and grow-out
industry and an established recreational sports-fishery.
Both fishing and aquaculture are highly dependent on the maintenance
of high water quality and the natural ecological processes which
drive marine productivity. All these activities will be threatened
by the proposed Yannarie Salt Project
The production and transfer of juvenile pearl oyster to important
pearl farm areas in the Kimberley is dependent on freedom from exotic
disease and pests. The presence of large bulk carriers from high
risk areas puts the disease-free status of stock from what the government
has declared an 'icon' industry in WA at definite risk.
Both commercial and recreational fisheries will potentially see
a reduction in recruitment as a consequence of changes to habitat
structure and foodwebs resulting from the construction of the solar
salt complex. Vast numbers of larvae and juveniles will also be
directly removed from the nursery habitat by the intake pumps.
Releasing a queenfish
The presence of an industrial port and shipping operation may also
result in the exclusion of both commercial and recreational fishers
from important fishing areas.
Releasing a tagged mangrove jack
Fishing boats at anchor in harmony
with pelicans, prior to heading off for a nights fishing