A phone call to the relevant authorities on weekends and after hours, when most of the 'harvesting' and 'sport' takes place, is usually diverted to an answering machine. Rangers are off duty. MNLY has been documenting some of the vandalising of an aquatic reserve since 2005 and made numerous phone calls. It would be a positive step to hear that vandals, that "could be prosecuted" are actually fined. Effective protection of the marine reserve should be 24/7.
Again, the "no take" Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve has been vandalised in broad daylight with many people present. 'Protected' fish such as the Blue Gropers and many more were speared. It is sad, that apparently only one person stood up to these people carrying potentially deadly weapons on a busy beach. Regularly, MNLY confronts people taking buckets full, spearfishing, filling big nets of colourful 'protected' fish. Some carers just let their kids collect as much shellfish as they wish. Most of the plunderers know about the illegality of their actions and become very aggressive. It is sad, that the enforcement of a "no take" zone is left up to the arbitrary citizen willing to risk their life.
Via Manly Daily 'How can anyone be so bone-headed?' 071008 (Maybe it is has not fallen out of the archives, as the 'red tide' 021008 has.
Portrait of a male Eastern Blue Groper (Achoerodus viridis) with escorts. Shelly Beach, Manly, NSW, Flickr
Eastern Blue Groper (Achoerodus viridis). Fairy Bower, Manly, NSW, Flickr
Report all illegal taking and vandalising in protected aquatic habitats: Ph: 1800 043 536
- Manly Council Rangers Ph.:9976 1630
- Sydney North Fisheries Office Ph.: 8437 4983
Update: The 'Spearoz' community is also discussing the matter here