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Subject: Mullet fishery in NSW
From: Walter Ivantsoff <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 8 Dec 2008 15:05:12 +1100
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I am one of those "narrow minded academics" who "hasn't got a clue" that Bob Mc Donald had mentioned  but over the last thiry years I have been a keen student of some Australian fish and during my very frequent "collecting  and studying times" I have frequently seen professional fishermen catch mullet. Their techniques are efficient and its nothing for them to catch tonnes of these fish at a time. What I have observed,  from time to time, is that these fishermen gut the mullet, take out the roe (top dollar, Bob?) and dump the rest of the fish, usually burying them there and then, in the sand. Seems to me that this is a very wasteful fishery, considering that live fish in the sea would be predated on  and more likely than not,  the cycle of events would take its course of which they would be part. I suppose the gutted fish could be made into  a fertiliser and at least would be used rather have it rotting under the sand (not worth while Bob?). Wanton butchery just to get the gonads, I find  repulsive.

What Bob fails to say is that Australians do not like mullet and most will not eat it, stating that it tastes muddy and unpleasant which is not necessarily true. By world standars, fish is relatively cheap in Australia, consequently mullet would not compete  with flathead, various dories, barramundi, sea perch, bream, snapper, whiting and many other fine fish one can buy at the fish markets, the list  is long.

I suspect that predilection for some fish rather than other is the reason mullet fishery does not take on. . Perhaps commercial fishermen could could find a way to start  an export business to those countries where mullet is prized. 


Walter

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