‘Sound the charge’

by TIM BARLOW
Founder, Fish Army

“G’day folks,

Thanks for coming along this evening to have a listen to our briefing, and to show your support for the Sound and Fremantle staying as a working port.

My name is Tim Barlow, I own a small tackle store in Guildford called Tim’s Tackle Plus, and obviously I am an angler.

Now because I am an angler, and like most anglers, a true conservationist at heart. I fight for our fish stocks and anglers rights.

To this end I was proud to lead the 2015 Rally to protect the Sound after the large fish kill event in November 2015.

Out of this came the snapper Guardians program, and many concerned recreational anglers put our hands in our pockets to pay for restocking. I am proud to be a founding member of that, and I can see many others, also here in this crowd.

So pat yourselves on the back for that one.

I am here today to speak to you as a protector of the Sound and the environment surrounding it. As stated, we took ownership of the situation and demonstrated our stewardship and affection for the fish and the environment.

This is a subject that I could speak on for hours and hours, as it is one truly close to my heart, but I promise to keep it short and sweetish.

Now the Sound is again under threat from this proposed Outer Harbour and all of the dredging, clearing and construction that would take place.

Once again recreational anglers have stepped up, and we formed the Fish Army to properly fight this.

As a member of the Anti-Outer Harbour Alliance, we have joined forces with many different and diverse groups that have been united by our combined opposition to this plan. Many of whom are represented on this panel tonight.

Before we get into threats though, let’s have a look at what makes the Sound so important, and also makes it critical spawning habitat for many species, not least of all being snapper.

Pink snapper, “Pagrus Auratas” are found in coastal waters off China, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, New Zealand and Australia.

In WA, they are found in warm temperate to sub-tropical waters, from north of Karratha, southwards to the Great Australian Bight.

Adults live around reefs but also over muddy and sandy bottoms along the continental shelf and in more protected waters when spawning. Juveniles are common in bays, inlets and estuaries, which provide important nursery areas.

Tagging projects have shown that while some pink snapper can move hundreds of kilometres to find food or spawn.

In fact snapper that spawn in the Sound, travel as far North as Geraldton, and South and East towards Albany.

• For the full speech head to http://www.fremantleherald.com

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