Oceanwatch Australia
Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe to our Channel
Hello from OceanWatch 
This month our Master Fisherman program manager Michael Wooden (Wild Catch Fisheries PM) and Brad Warren (OWA E) have certified 14 fishermen through our professional training.

Fourteen professional fishers were recognized as OceanWatch Master
Fishermen.In addition, 3 deckhands (not endorsement holders) also
participated in the program and were recognized as competent in the Seafood
Training Package Competency Unit 'Participate in Environmentally Sustainable
Work Practices' - overseen by the Fishing Industry Training Committee.

Don't know anything about our program?

Find out more about the MFP program by click on the link above and below.
Visit us
Hunter fisheries contaminated by RAAF Williamtown 
This month in Your Say we feature the below article written by two proud commercial fishers, Robert and Sue Hamilton, who have been deeply affected by the RAAF's contamination of Fullerton Cove and the Hunter River.

We are Commercial Fishers, working the Hunter River estuary prawn trawl and this is our story. My husband is a 2nd generation fisher and we have owned our boat since the early 90s.
When we first heard about the contamination issue we went to the first meeting at Stockton RSL. We were aware that there was a one month closure on commercial fishing and oyster activities in Fullerton Cove and the upper reaches of Tilligerry Creek.
Whilst it was serious it wasn’t until the oysters were cleared and commercial fishing was given another ban until 30 June 2016 that we started to become really concerned, especially as it was just before the estuary prawn trawl season in the Hunter River.
During the following weeks, DPI announced sampling and testing of school prawns at locations in the main part of the river. We were shocked and felt that this had undermined the confidence of our consumers.
We went to a meeting of estuary prawn trawl fishers on the Saturday before we were due to start work, and the unanimous decision was to hold off on the opening until the results of the testing were available.
This quick turn of events left us wondering what were we going to do for money? How would we pay our bills? Centrelink had suddenly become the only option, our claim was approved and whilst it keeps food on the table it doesn’t really give us an income and the support finishes in June.
At this point with the current issues we are left in a position of not knowing what to do and where to go. No department seems to have any long term plans. I have spoken to RAAF personnel on a couple of occasions at public meetings, and they don’t have any plans for stopping the flow off the base and there is no rehabilitation plan for Fullerton Cove.
Shutting Fullerton Cove took away well over 60% of our estuary prawn trawl income. Whilst it looks a very small area on a map it is the heart of the river. Whilst the RAAF may think they have only contaminated a small portion of the actual river, they have in fact taken away a huge portion of our income and contaminated the environment. With the self- imposed ban, this has taken away all of fishing income.
If the run-off is stopped and the area rehabilitated surely if the problem is not passed down to the next breeding population, there should be a point where our product is again clean. At this point we want to work and harvest again but will need a lot of support to improve consumer confidence and to make up for all of the brand damage that has been caused by the RAAF.
So how has this affected us?? How would you feel if you were told that you were unable to make an income? How would you feel if you are paying for a business that you can’t use?  How would you feel if that right to an income was taken away with no time frame? How would you feel if being a proud family provider, you had to go and ask for a handout? I will tell you how we feel – we feel cheated, we feel like we have been taken for a ride, we feel like no one cares, we feel like our position of providing fresh local seafood to the community has been thrown away.

As if making ends meet for all of the community isn’t hard enough, the RAAF has stripped away our right to run our business that we have invested huge amounts of time and money in.

Basically we feel let down by all levels of government who knew about the severity of this issue up to 3 years ago and did nothing. You have caused us, and a lot of other people, undue stress.
Read More
POMS ravages Tasmanian waters
The Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS)  caused by the OSHV-1 virus strain has been detected in six commercial growing leases in Tasmania, as well as taking It's seventh victim a wild population in the Derwent Estuary.

The situation is devastating and is sweeping the state, leaving local oyster farmers in turmoil .The SA oyster industry is also being impacted with biosecurity restrictions preventing the movement of juvenile oyster spat from Tasmanian hatcheries. 

For the full POMS report from ABC news click on the play button above
Read More
 Seafood Industry Peak  Body  Project gathers  momentum

I am pleased to report on behalf of National Seafood Industry Alliance Incorporated (NSIA) that our project to form a peak body for the seafood industry is gathering momentum, with the first progress report released this month. The first phase involved consultation with people across wild catch, aquaculture and post-harvest sectors. These consultations found that there is both a need and a level of urgency across the industry to form a national peak body.

The next step in the project is the convening of an Industry Forum in Adelaide on 30/31 March, 2016. The forum will be opened by the Senator Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources and a select cross section of significant seafood business leaders from across Australia have been invited by the Minister to participate. The purpose will be to decide on the process and urgency for developing business model options and wider industry consultation by June 2016.

This project provides industry with the much needed resources to see a funded national peak body in action as a direct result, an opportunity and choice that will be decided by industry. Importantly, the forum will be chaired by industry leaders with participating businesses guiding what a peak body would do and how it may be established.
A copy of the Progress and Next Steps Report can be downloaded from the project website at The NSIA peak body project is funded by the Australian Government and is being managed by Inovact Consulting.

Written by.

Katherine Winchester
National Seafood Industry Alliance
That's Wild!
The Fishermens Portal Inc. represents professional fishers: primary producers in Queensland's wild harvest fisheries in Net, Trawl, Crab and Line from the NSW border right through to the NT border. That’s Wild! was developed by the Portal to create a platform to reach the community and to differentiate wild caught local product from farmed and imported products.

That’s Wild! is branding that assists our sector to integrate with the community. Community support for our members is crucial in retaining fair access to the common resource.That’s Wild!’ assists members to label their product so that the supply chain and consumers can be confident they have the real deal.

Organic sustainable seafood, well managed wild fisheries, environmentally friendly fishing methods and caring for the environment in a community minded partnership will hopefully mean our members can work in the industry they love, and seafood lovers can continue to enjoy local wild caught seafood for generations to come.

That’s Wild! Introduces our fishing families and those who support us to you. For more information check out the website link

Cane toad of the ocean found in Gold Coast waterways

Algae could boost Reef water quality

Queensland net-free zones leaving seafood wholesalers searching for fresh fish

Action needed to boost aquaculture jobs

New boats tackle illegal fishing on The Great Barrier Reef

Queensland crabber cops big fine

Barra season opens in QLD

Big fines for fishing in green zone

Missing fishermen found off Whitsundays


Read More

Researchers keen to examine anchor damage on Newcastle Port ocean floor

Oyster disease discovered in Tasmania likely to impact farms on New South Wales south coast

Eco Shark Barrier to be trialled in Ballina from late March

Study of migratory shorebirds off NSW coast hoping to reveal secrets of changing ocean conditions

Billions of micro plastics are threatening wildlife and humans, Australian senators told

Cultural Fishing: Amid rising tensions between indigenous fishermen and bureaucrats over catch limits, lawyers on both sides are beginning to square off

OceanWatch sponsors AMSN conference
Read More
Wild oyster population in Derwent affected by POMS virus

POMS resistant oysters provide a future for the Australian industry, say marine reseachers

Pressure to lift oyster travel bans

Fishers & environmentalists oppose Tassal plan for new fish farm on Tasmania’s east coast

Tasmanian oyster crisis: Industry counting cost of POMS outbreak as losses continue to grow

Tasmanian oyster hatchery positive for POMS

Read More
Abrolhos Islands fishing ban fails to boost fish population, study finds

Bremer Bay Canyon: Scientists find out why killer whales and sharks are drawn to WA hotspot

Western Australian oyster industry protected from an outbreak of Pacific Oyster mortality Syndrome

Coral bleaching study examines algae’s protective effect during marine heatwaves

Kimberley dolphins vulnerable to human activity, Murdoch University researchers say

Motorboat noise harms fish survival

West Australian south coast salmon fishery in demise
Read More
SA oyster farmers on alert against deadly virus

South Australian oyster industry breathes sigh of relief after negative POMS test

BP’s Great Australian Bight oil proposal, off South Australian cost, under Senate spotlight

Read More
Know your limits when fishing Daly

Million dollar fish competition

Deadly reminder of fishing dangers

Limit to Kakadu fishing

Read More
Meet Mr Mollusc

Searchin’for an urgent answer to urchin breakout

Read More
More Murray cod released in Queanbeyan

Read More
Act Now :
Find out about the biggest marine issues facing Australia and how you can get involved
Read More
Opportunities :
Find out about grants and local initiatives in your area ...
Read More
Donations :
We rely on donations to keep our vital community and industry work running. Please give today to make a difference.
Read More
Our Shareholders
Our Core Funding
Copyright 2015 OceanWatch Australia, All rights reserved.