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Fishing trips to Raja Ampat !!


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#1 jbonehoss

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 04:39 AM

MOVED FROM " Raja Amphat with Larry Smith and Adventure H2O" Thread in Dive Destinations and Travel Forum:

" In search of black bass and barra .......... mostly fishing " !!!!!!!!!!!!

Raja Ampat region was nominated as an Unesco's World Heritage place ,
why you don't go fishing to another place ?


Didn't you hear? The rest of the world has been fished out and trashed... *sigh*
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#2 elbuzo

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 05:59 AM

Quote:

" Sorry to rain on your party - but I think you'll find that those dates are full. I have a group together to travel from Timika an an exploratory to the south east in search of black bass and barra with H2O owner Steve Jacobs from the 5th Nov. Mostly fishing with a little bit of diving as we work our way back to Sorong.

I think you will find the trip before is still vacant and may suit your purposes. Thought i'd mention this before you make too many arrangements.

regards,

col "

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Some enviromental organizations are nominating Raja Ampat as an Unesco World Heritage , meanwhile others are organizing fishing trips targeting reef species !

Maybe some deep fishing is acceptable, but targeting reef fishes as black bass and barramundi in one of the few places in the world the we can still called it pristine ...... please !

A liveaboard offering reef-fishing trips on such a place , i found it a big contradiction , to say the least !!!!!!

#3 shawnh

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 08:59 AM

Very sad. Divers speak with their wallets. I spend my money on operators who adhere to standards of conservation (to the best of my knowledge). Problem is, many divers are not willing to sacrifice oppoturnity and convenience to send a message. I suppose if enough folks pulled their bookings, fishing trips on Raja dive boats would dissappear quickly.

Finally, hope we won't find anyone fishing in the 200sq km 'no take' zone in southern Misool region. This area is a sanctioned no fishing reserve. If this operator is not familiar with this protected area, they better get informed quickly if they want to continue diving there in the future:
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I am notifying the folks in Misool that certain operators may be fishing as well as diving. Sadly this will increase an already difficult patrol burden. Historically, marine parks have relied on liveaboards to act as watch dogs. If even one liveaboad is actually part of the problem, then all liveaboards will become suspect.

Graham...can you talk some sence into these folks?
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#4 shawnh

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 09:15 AM

As a follow up thought, this issue of fishing on reefs by dive operators bugs me more and more. As divers, we hold the 'secrets' of still rich dive sites that fishermen may not know about. Each new site teaming with fish is a new 'secret' that we hope will last as long as possible. This is especially true in places like Raja Ampat.

How sad when you have to now worry that the guy bubbling next to you may be logging this as his next great fishing site. Livaboard operators I believe have an even higher standard of responsibility in this area. Folks are paying loads of money to get to remote and "unspoiled" dive sites. How can they then turn around and profit from the exploitation of the same sites?

Reminds me of a story of a buddy of mine diving on a liveaboard in the Similan Island (Thailand). One evening he was hungry and went down to the mess to grab a bite. He opened the freezer and guess what he found. A black tip reef shark just caught and on ice...likely the same shark he had seen on the reef earlier that day:(
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#5 james

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 10:16 AM

Hi Guys,

You'd be surprised where sport fishing is allowed. Sport fishing is currently allowed in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, and I believe in a few other sanctuaries as well. It was just recently banned in the Channel Islands NMS.

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#6 Rocha

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 01:11 PM

Yep, I agree with James, but I think that's in part our fault. Fishermen and fishing associations are much more vocal than divers. But I do think that if we start making some noise (or start avoiding companies that to both fishing and diving) we can start to change the situation.

I assume that nobody here would go on a photo safari to Africa with a company that promotes hunting. I think we should start doing the same with liveaboards.

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#7 Scuba_SI

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 01:35 PM

I assume that nobody here would go on a photo safari to Africa with a company that promotes hunting. I think we should start doing the same with liveaboards.



Good point Luiz. We used to have a real problem if we ran a charter for divers without fresh fish for them to eat, to the point where we would bribe local fishermen with beer (any pay top dollar) to go find us some Tuna. We would never buy reef fish though, sending someone else to the reefs to catch them doesn't make it any better!

I think there seems to be a fair bit of hypocrisy within the diving community with regards to this subject, would anyone here on wetpixel be disappointed if they didn't have fish on their trip??

I still eat fish, i know i shouldn't - i don't think there is a sustainable fishery yet. I know Veitch doesn't eat fish, but they are the only friends he has in Yap....

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#8 MikeVeitch

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 02:09 PM

I know Veitch doesn't eat fish, but they are the only friends he has in Yap....



:P

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#9 shawnh

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 03:18 PM

Yup...hypocracy abounds in the dive community. On most dive trips, i watch sadly as folks carelessly munch down on same dwindling stock of fish they were just complaining about. "Man, this spot has been hit hard by fishing"...coupled with "wow, is this grouper excellent" a few hours later.

I for one got so tired of it, several years ago i quit all seafood (and i mean anything from the sea). I too agree that given population rise adn fishing "advances" the concept of sustainable is a farce. Eating less fish and letting them reproduce is sustainable but folks usually aren't intersted in that.

One a postive note, i know of several Wetpix staff and a number of members who do not eat fish either. After an action packed day of diving, followed by a meal without fish, we sleep with a clear conscience:)

As Pixar put it: Fish are Friends, not our food
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#10 shawnh

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 08:52 AM

Quick Field Update:
Spoke to Andy Miners. They recently had to stop a live aboard from fishing on a dive site right in front of his island. They were fishing right on top of one of the richest sites that i dived during my entire visit.

How sad that we are now policing not just fishermen but divers:( I understand that liveaboards will fish for meals out there. But, NOT right on top of dive sites and NOT reef fish and NOT in no take zones. Come on folks. Please send a message to operators that you are opposed to this activity and will not give them your business if they engage in it.
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#11 elbuzo

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 09:15 AM

I think it will be good idea to make public the names of the liveaboard(s)
fishing on dive sites.

I had plans to go to Raja Ampat and for sure i will choose other than Adventure H20 . I don´t want to give my money to a company engaged on reef fishing in a protected area.

Maybe we can send a letter to H2O Adventure´s owners , signed by all members that are against such politics.

#12 shawnh

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 02:55 PM

I hate to point fingers..but in this case...is suppose some finger pointing is approriate. If anyone has names of operators in Raja Ampat (or elsewhere for that matter) that they know are fising in these protected waters, by all means share. Perhaps our joint efforts can help them see the financial value of not exploiting the foundations of their business.
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#13 wagsy

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 03:20 PM

You get Whale Shark operators here where..

One day they are out charging $300 per head to show people one species of Shark.
Next day they are out there in the exact same area as the day before with a bunch of rec fishheads trying to kill everything in the water. :P

And the real funny thing is that they all have there big ECO Friendly Certified Stickers on their stuff.
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#14 jbonehoss

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 06:43 PM

They recently had to stop a live aboard from fishing on a dive site right in front of his island. They were fishing right on top of one of the richest sites that i dived during my entire visit.


Wow, that is so very very wrong.

would anyone here on wetpixel be disappointed if they didn't have fish on their trip??


Certainly not - I think its a small price to pay to actually walk the walk and have places that are still worth diving.

Next day they are out there in the exact same area as the day before with a bunch of rec fishheads trying to kill everything in the water.


Not to over generalize, but I have friends who fish and that say that Aussies are particularly vicious when it comes to fishing and especially sharks. Really sad if that extends to the dive operators as well. ...On the other hand the eco friendly sticker makes everything alright!
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#15 yahsemtough

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 04:21 PM

I felt it prudent to email Steve Jacobs the owner of Adventure H2O to clarify what the purpose of this trip is. After diving with them and Larry Smith I found it strange that they would be doing a fishing trip for reef fish over dive sites and in Raja Amphat.

Steve's email was as follows

The trip is a catch and release trip meant for exploratory reasons. The fishing area is not within Raja Amphat but up rivers close to the PNG border. The longer term goal is to be able to encourage sport fishing of a catch and release nature to encourage locals to stop the practice of netting in the rivers which is decimating the fish stock as a result.

I think this helps clarify better the purpose of this exploratory trip than the first posting by Col (Barra)
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#16 Graham Abbott

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 04:26 AM

If you all knew the half of it, you'd never go out with any of the boats here, if you really cared so much anyway. Firstly I am not going name names. The problem is that just about all the boats I have been on and chartered at some stage have done such stupid things and in the hands of western operator/owners too!

To name a few stupid things:
A western boat captain & dive instructor anchored his boat in an area that came to about 16-18m in the Raja Ampat, then allowed the divers to make a dive from the main boat on this sea mount he anchored on. They all came up raving about the dive, but shocked at the amount of reef on the top of the mount the skipper had just killed! The most stupid thing is that the guy actually told me about this too!

Another western boat operator in the wheelhouse of his boat was just about to allow his Indonesian captain to anchor right at the side of Tatawa Kecil (a well known Komodo dive site). I could see the reef below us and we only had 16-18m on the depth sounder. We were basically on the western ridge of this site. This stupid western operator was not all bothered about it in the slightest.

The same above boat operator booked a charter for a Japanese group for spear fishing. The route was from Bali to Komodo and back. They had not laid down any rules or regulations about where they could fish or what they could fish for. Then the owner was really happy to try his first ever scorpion fish sushi, fresh “resident dive site” cuttlefish, now that’s sport fishing hey!

The same above operator had anchored too close to a reef near Moyo. When I got to wheelhouse with my GPS to see where we were, I noticed we were way too close and regardless of the boat operator told the captain to immediately pull anchor as it was dragging the boat closer to the reef. When we dived this site, I went down a bit deeper than usual and saw where the anchor had dragged, luckily the chain and big anchor had missed a fantastic area of hard coral reef by 1-2m. For those of you who know Andy Miners ask him about it, he came over and quite rightly gave the operator a mouthful, just after I did.

I dread to think of what this guy does when he is on his own with no one who cares, the thought gives me shivers!

And then there’s the amount of other operators who regularly take spear fishing charters, this would surprise you all! Many operators regularly fish for pelagic fish, I have no problem with this and don’t dragging a line myself, though not over dive sites. I have seen boats go out and fish on GPS point after finishing their dive there. You know what the problem is, none of them know or care what the rules are. It's not easy to fidn otu what the rules are. I am trying tog et someone to write down the rules and regulations, anchoring procedures and the likes. Then have all this put in a brochure, English and Indonesian, so it can be laminated and put in every boat wheelhosue for the crew, captain and western owner/operators to look at every day!

Oh yeah, another great classic. I was asked to work/consult for a dive operator who were tryign to get started with live aboard dive boats. I led a charter for this group, afterwards the directors all complained that they hadn’t seen many big fish and in particular Napoleon wrasse. I met them for lunch and guess what, yeah more stupid people, they were sitting there dining on a small Napoleon wrasse. Now how about that for a Darwin Award?

Then there are the donations to the Bali mooring buoy project a while back. Just about all of the live aboard operators here said that they don’t operate in Bali! Der -- they just live here and many of them started a diving career here, but few wanted to pay a few bucks for mooring buoys, I think some did eventually pay up, albeit begrudgingly! I’m sure there are a few divers reading this who have dived Bali from a live aboard boat - yeah?

I could carry on and on, though the long and short of it… There is only really one boat owner/operator that cares, Ricardo who runs Ondina. He is about the only operator who has a fund, yeah, he takes about 5euro from every diver and puts this aside, and eventually he gives this to a needy cause.

#17 Graham Abbott

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 05:37 AM

Justin,
Just a quickie to ask how this thread actually got started? Where did the news of the fishing trip come from, was it posted on Wetpixel? If not where?

#18 elbuzo

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 06:53 AM

Justin,
Just a quickie to ask how this thread actually got started? Where did the news of the fishing trip come from, was it posted on Wetpixel? If not where?


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The link to the thread : http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=17007

The comment about fishing trip was posted january 14th.

#19 NickJ

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 03:27 AM

Unfortunately there is one famous u/w photographer not a million miles from where I live, who a couple of years ago in Raja was seen to actually break off some coral branches in order to get a great shot of some cowering wildlife perched behind :P Apparently he is a repeat offender, and his behavior is not that uncommon - shock horror! We all have a duty to protect the environment regardless of our own predelictions and publications.

Maybe we should have an 'outing' section on Wetpixel where we can name names and make our un-environmentally friendly associates accountable for their dastardly deeds whether that is fishing, polluting, eco-damage or whatever.

Right now I will 'fess up and say I am a reformed spearfisherman who still occasionally eats fish, preferably the eco-safe types (I know big discussion ahead). However, I am well know for my aversion to shark fin and have publicly persuaded many a Chinese and other colleague to avoid it at all costs because of limp-dick syndrome caused by all that lead and mercury :)

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#20 Scuba_SI

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 04:02 AM

With regards to anchoring, if you are diving from the main vessel then you should have a mooring, unless it is a sandy bottom (but there is just as much life there!)

Another solution to offer if the captain will not invest in a mooring, is getting a crew member to place a smaller hook in a friendly spot and then run a rope upto the surface for the boat to pick up. You do not need the huge anchor to keep the boat in position for a couple of hours even with a mild current. If you know your divesite this can be done in a few minutes.

I know the Solmar V does this on many shallower divesites, which really does help to save what little reef they have out there.

Not all Captains are bad! Everyone makes mistakes at work, and the important thing is that they learn from them.

As for the photog who intentionally breaks coral, out them! I'm sure a lot of divers have heard that sickening crunch of someone unintentionally hitting the coral, but to do it on purpose is disgraceful. Please tell me via pm (in confidence) if you do not want to say publicly so i make sure never to buy one of their books!

For the Fishing - Divers often get very upset when you tell them at the start of the week that you do no have fish available. I eat fish, but i think moderation should be applied and fish shouldn't make up a significant part of the menu. Reef fish should not make up any part of the menu on a liveaboard, ideally pelagic fish too.

Catch and Release in Raja Ampat? Is that like Whale 'Research' in the Antarctic?

Look at the Nautilus Explorer, they have Alaskan King Crab night every charter, even when in Mexico.... Mike the owner and captain is Jewish and therefore doesn't even want shellfish on his boat! But he still does it because the demand is there from the clients!

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