When did humans decide consuming whale food was a good idea? That it was some sort of multi-vitamin cure-all that will reduce everything from blood pressure to cholesterol; help alleviate PMS or add muscle strength; improve cognitive function and brain health.
Is there anything krill oil supplements can’t do?
Fish oil supplements have been trendy for quite a while now because of the belief omega-3 fatty acids were beneficial particularly in lowering blood pressure – thus benefiting the heart. This despite the fact a recent extensive study found they actually may have no more benefit than a placebo in preventing death or serious cardiovascular disease.
If a movie director was going to invent a name for the “ship of doom” they’d probably come up with “supertrawler”.
Let’s face it, supertrawler sounds bad. It’s super (and not in the good way) and it “trawls” the ocean rapaciously consuming fish into its vast nets and freezers of doom. When the word “supertrawler” is said out loud it almost deserves its own soundtrack.
But it’s politics that led the Gillard government to turn its trawl of duty from the Netherlands to Australia a wasted journey. Now the government’s legislative response means the same quota of fish can be taken out of Australian waters by smaller, less efficient boats. Their net sizes can be the same. And they can waste fuel and emit greenhouse gases by returning to shore to dump the fish before going out to get extra catch.
Apparently unlike everyone else, Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig was caught by surprise when the 142m Abel Tasman snuck up on him.
He looked around a day or so ago and, Bloody Hell, there’s a 9500 tonne fishing boat in Australian waters. And it wants to catch sea life. Who would have thought?
So instead of a considered official response, the owners of the Abel Tasman have been given a rushed, two-year rebuff because the Government was spooked by political agitation.
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Update: The Dutch super-trawler Margiris is due to arrive in the South Australian town of Port Lincoln today to spend five days preparing for it’s new role fishing the Southern Ocean.
The north-east coast of Scotland is a string of beautiful villages which for centuries have relied on North Sea fishing from small boats operated by generations of the same families.
The town of Peterhead, the most easterly point of that coastline, has streets named after whaling captains. Some of the grander older houses were built by trawler owners. Fishing families grew up in tiny homes across the street from the boat berths.
Many harbourside homes and those in streets leading to the wharves have cramped rooms for the residents along with large spacious lofts where the nets once were hung to dry. And there are still lively ambitions to own a boat, hire a crew and exist off the sea. Those ambitions are being battered by huge fishing vessels which look more like tankers and warships than trawlers.
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The decision to allow the super trawler Margiris to fish in Australian waters has aroused a wave of opposition.
A coalition of environment groups has taken out a full page ad in The Australian. A flotilla of over 200 boats sailed up the Derwent River in protest. A 35,000 signature petition opposing the trawler has been presented to Parliament, and in a recent reader poll in the Adelaide Advertiser, 92 per cent of respondents were opposed to the ship being allowed to fish in Australian waters. Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has referred to issue to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
The opposition is not surprising. It’s hard to believe the huge nets of the factory ship won’t trap large quantities of by-catch, unwanted species which usually die before they are released. The trawler could locally deplete the fish population, reducing the food available to southern bluefin tuna, dophins and seals in certain locations.
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I’m tired, cold and smell like a tin of cat food. This is my first taste of life as a deep-sea fishermen. Twenty-four hours on a fishing trawler outside Sydney Heads with Paul Bagnato, a fourth generation skipper.
The Bagnato family have run six trawlers out of Sydney since the 1960s, delivering Sydney’s freshest seafood to the Fish Markets every day of the week.
“We are on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” he says. “It’s a tough life out here.”
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We need marine parks.
That very statement is going to land me in hot water with thousands of Australian recreational anglers, whose pasttime, and in some cases livelihood, is under genuine threat from the implementation of marine sanctuaries and no-fishing zones around the country.
I say it, though, to make it known right off the bat that I am an environmentalist, and have been a Greens voter in the past. You won’t find many anglers who believe that protecting our oceans isn’t crucial, and it is in this sense the truth has been lost in an ongoing heated debate.
The ‘us and them’ battle for access to fishing spots has painted us bloodthirsty murderers and the Marine Parks Authority as knights in shining green armour.
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Well it’s the silly season and sharks are in the news again, big time.
This summer in central Queensland, they are competing with box jellyfish and irukandji for the mantle of scariest critters in the sea, while on land, tourists at Seventeen Seventy have been attacked by a crazed kamikaze flying fox.
That small tourism hot spot marks the place where Captain James Cook put ashore to take on fresh water, but this week three tourists were bitten by a bat later found to have been infected by the potentially deadly lyssavirus.
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You use different muscles when you’re fishing, You find that out the hard way on serious fishing trips. Recently I was taken out on the water after the Super 14 season with the fishing gurus from Modern Fishing magazine. I was little nervous as I was out with guys who drop a line, day in, day out and really know their stuff.
By the end of the day I was casting lures, my arms stiff as a board and struggling to match the distance the other guys were getting. I had to pretend that I wasn’t hurting. I couldn’t let them know I was struggling.
Fishing is my way of switching off. I love it. It’s just good to get in the boat and do battle with nature. I am lucky to live in Western Australia where the fishing is great and the scenery perfect. My ideal day is to head out to Rottnest Island with my family or mates and just fish and swim. Throw in a couple of beers and it’s a great couple of days.
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