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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had an interesting meeting/dinner last night. I was asked to meet with a group from Australia. I'm not fully sure why they are here. I am sure that they did not come half-way around the world to see me. I know that a number of the group presented scientific papers at some conference, I think in Florida. They are in Virginia in some kind of fact finding mission. Interesting and diverse group from all over Australia. They all have something to do with fisheries science/management. At least one is also a commercial fisherman and oyster farmer. The one woman in the group runs a charter business.

Someone had talked to them ahead of time. They knew about the Healthy Grin and all of the records and they knew about our big bluefish run. They catch bluefish but nothing of the size we have been catching at the Triangle Wrecks. I really think that they wanted to talk with Dr. John Graves. Dr. Graves is in Morocco dealing with ICCAT so I guess I was his substitute. I'm his dentist so that makes me qualified to fill in for him. They were "keen" to discuss the pop-up tag studies of both offshore and inshore fish.

They liked trying all of the different beer and wine at the Riverwalk Restaurant and all of the seafood on the menu. The oyster farmer really checked out our oysters. They really liked the crab. Every species was discussed: commercial and recreational catches, health of the stocks, and how they are managed.

I asked if they have the same kind of commercial/recreational conflicts that we have here sometimes. They said yes they do but that they have had to learn to work together, concentrate on what they have in common rather than what is different, because both groups are under attack by the "greenies".

One of their individuals was like our Jack Travlestead. He talked about their limited-entry fisheries and how when they have done something like that, catch history was used to determine who got to stay in the fishery and who was out. He said that those were tough decisions. Sounds exactly like the stuff which goes on here. They have things like ITQs, Transferable and non-Transferable Licenses. An interesting thing was that they had recently instituted a limited-entry charter boat license. Of course, I had just been at a long VMRC Finfish meeting discussing the same thing for Virginia. That got them going good. It was the only time any of them got mad. They argued about how to determine the benefit of protecting Virginia's Charter Captains versus the benefit of having the out of state boats coming to Virginia. They really did not argue for or against the limited license but more about which economic theory was the correct one to use to determine the best economic course of action. What I learned was the concept of having a Limited-Entry Charter License is controversial everywhere in the world.

I also learned that the cost of a routine dental exam/cleaning cost about $300 in Australia and that their fuel cost about twice ours. They said that the cost of fuel has had a big impact on their fisheries. Some tournaments have even changed which species they target due to the cost of fuel. They could not believe that we routinely run 60 or more miles to our offshore grounds. A long run for them is 20-30 miles.

All of them were avid anglers. Today they are fishing on the Smoking Gun. I hope Chandler catches them some fish. When they were in Florida, they got in a fishing trip in also. One of them caught a big dolphin. They took it to Guy Harvey's restaurant where it was cooked 3 different ways for them. They said that it was great. Their next stop is Washington DC and then it is back to Australia.


Frank Prokop (Convener)

For the last 10 years, Frank Prokop has been Executive Director of Recfishwest (Recfishwest, representing Western Australia's recreational fishers) , the peak body representing the estimated 640,000 recreational fishers in Western Australia. For two years he was President of Recfish Australia, the national peak body. Frank is now a Board member of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

Frank has extensive experience in fisheries management in NSW and Western Australia and was the first dedicated recreational fisheries manager in Australia. He has also been the manager of the Western rock lobster fishery and minor commercial fisheries. Frank has written a number of books on recreational fishing and many fisheries management papers.

He has also been a Board member of the Perth Wildcats basketball team and on the Board of the WA Sports Federation for 4 years. Frank's hobby is lure collecting.

Ben Diggles.

Marine Biologist with PhD in aquatic animal health. Currently manager of DigsFish Services (Fish & Shellfish Diseases - Aquatic Animal Health Australia), a company which specialises in research and development in the fields of fish attractants, medicated fish feeds for the aquaculture industry, and recreational fishing research,
development and extension. Previous positions include fish pathologist for New Zealand's primary aquatic animal health laboratory and recreational fisheries manager for South Australia.

Len Olyott

A third generation recreational angler, Len's passion for fish and fishing led him to pursue a career in fisheries science. He graduated from Rhodes University in South Africa with a Masters in Fisheries Science. Len has been a founder member of several flyfishing clubs as well as a fisheries consultant to various fishing clubs and organisations both within Australia and internationally. An accomplished author of numerous book chapters on recreational fishing and articles in Australian and South African magazines, Len also has a solid scientific publication record and has attended several international fisheries conferences. He has also reviewed several manuscripts for the Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries journal.

He worked for Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries for six years and was responsible for the design and management of recreational fishing surveys and diary programs as well as providing scientific advice to fisheries managers. Len has recently taken up the role of Chief Executive Officer with the Australian Recreational and Sport Fishing Industry Confederation (the peak representative body for recreational fishers at a national level) and currently sits on several national committees including the aquatic animal health committee, aquatic animal welfare working group and the Commonwealth Fisheries Research Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Australian Society for Fish Biology.

Bill Sawynok

Bill Sawynok manages his own family business, Infofish Services, and is based in Rockhampton in Queensland, Australia. Infofish Services manages the Suntag tagging program in Queensland (over 500,000 fish tagged) and the CapReef community based fisheries monitoring program in Central Queensland. He also manages Recfishing Research, a national program to improve research into recfishing issues. For the past 7 years he managed the national Released Fish Survival program (Gently Does It) which now forms part of Recfishing Research.

He is a director of the Australian National Sportfishing Association, a past director of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, a past director of the CRC Reef Research Centre for the Great Barrier Reef, a past director of the Fitzroy Basin Association (catchment management) and a past board member of Recfish Australia.

Evan Jones

Age 47 Married 3 children ages 8-15 yrs
General Practitioner
Hon Life Member and Past Vice President of Sunshine Coast Game Fishing Club
Hon Conservation Officer QLD Game Fishing Association
Member Research Review and Recommendation Panel East Coast Tuna and Billfish Fishery for Australian Fisheries Management (AFMA)
Member Moreton Bay Artificial Reef Working Group
Involved in current Marine Protected Area discussions in QLD

John Diplock

Started with research into the biology of demersal and pelagic fish then spent 3 years as Tuna Scientist in the Federated States of Micronesia. Returned to manage commercial fisheries in NSW and transformed all commercial fisheries from open access to defined rights fisheries. After setting up the first Policy Unit moved to recreational fisheries management in 1998 and introduced an all-waters recreational fishing licence in 2001. Brought in a limited access licensing regime for charter fishing boats in 2001. Since then has been responsible for a suite of new licence funded programs and significant improvements to the administration of the recreational fishing licence. Left NSW DPI in August 2008 to set up a fisheries management consultancy, Hamata Pty Ltd.

Shane Jasprizza

Young future leader winner through Recfish Australia. Winner of FRDC Bursary to attend study tour. Chartered Accountant, currently studying MBA in Marine Resource Management through the Australian Maritime College (University of Tasmania).

Past president of Canberra Fisherman's Club, current Treasurer and Membership Officer for the NSW branch of the Australian National Sportfishing Association (ANSA). ANSA National Board member (Business Director), with involvement in introducing non-lineclass, length-based competitions into ANSA as a means of promoting catch & release amongst members.

Occasionally even find time to fish, with lurecasting for freshwater natives and estuary species a favorite way of relaxing. Also enjoy the competitive side of fishing through ANSA Conventions and the personal challenge of the ANSA Masters system.

Andrew Duke

Finishing his PhD in Tasmania. Strong experience in aquaculture.

Ann Garard

Ann is a long time recreational angler (from school holidays fishing off wharf at Stanley Tasmania). Partner with husband Rodney in Kiama Charter Service since 1995. One of first 2 legitimate charter operations operating from Kiama 110km south of Sydney NSW. Active member & committee person of NSW Charter Boat Operators Assn for 10yrs.

Member of MERCMAC (Charter Boat MAC) & other committees primarily representing recreational charter fishing since 2000. Keen to see appropriate fish/fishery management & enhancement via consultation, factual information & a plan to continue access for all, wherever possible. Looking forward to the commencement of an Offshore Artificial Reef program, following on from the extremely successful & well received estuarine program.
Member of the Jervis Bay Marine Park Advisory committee since park's inception in late 90s. Lobbied for fishing charter operations to be given separate representation in all marine park deliberations. Always open to the opinions of all interest groups and able to see and assess all points of view.

972 Posts
Hi Ken,

Didn’t recognize you yesterday, I was the bloke that took Ben and Shane fishing after the dinner, uneventful but they wanted a shot at trying for a VA striper. Interesting bunch of folks and mad keen on fishing.


2,377 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
"we also drank all your beer and had our way with your women."

I think a view of this blog might clarify why we were at VIMS and all those
other places.

FRDC Recreatonal Fishing Study Tour USA

While modern communications are great, it no substitute for meeting people in
the flesh to discuss the common issues we face in rec fishing around the globe.
All in all a very productive study tour I think - and we even caught a few fish
- they got some stripers on Thursday out in Chesapeake Bay, but I don't know
about the bluefish.

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