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Landlocked jetty keeps fishers high and dry

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Like a viewing platform in the course of a seaside. 

That is how lobster fisherman Greg Horsman describes the picket fishing jetty at his hometown of Port Gregory on the West Australian mid-north coast. 

In-built 1980, the jetty offered lobster fishers, yachts and vacationers with a protected place to safe their boats, however a construct up of sand through the years has rendered it inaccessible to watercraft.

The eight or so lobster boats primarily based out of Port Gregory, north of Geraldton, are actually compelled to moor offshore and ferry their catch and bait to and from shore through dinghies.  

Fishers like Mr Horsman and Colin Suckling have been in a 10-year battle to get the state authorities to assist transfer the sand. 

“It provides numerous double or triple dealing with of product, much more bodily lifting for the crew and ourselves,” Mr Suckling mentioned. 

It’s a labour-intensive, costly and generally harmful train. 

Lobsters can lose high quality when uncovered to the weather; Mr Suckling estimated between 1 and three per cent of his catch was downgraded as a result of injury when transporting full pots from his fishing boat to shore. 

“Whenever you begin dropping $10 or $15 or $20 a kilo of your product, that is when it actually hurts,” he mentioned. 

Two men stand facing the camera. The ocean is in the background.
Fishers are interesting for the state authorities to assist with their landlocked jetty.(ABC Rural: Jo Prendergast)

Mr Horsman mentioned he wished to see the sand across the jetty eliminated.

“I realise it probably will fill in once more, however at the least if we dig it out — that is probably the most affordable solution to do it — we’ll know what kind of a timeframe we’re taking a look at for upkeep.” 

Missed alternatives 

The jetty just isn’t removed from the world-famous Port Gregory pink lake. 

The fishermen mentioned the area was lacking out on additional tourism alternatives of holiday makers having the ability to fish off the jetty or purchase lobsters off the again of boats. 

The federal government funds common upkeep dredging at Kalbarri, north of Port Gregory. 

Final month, Nationals MP Shane Love offered a grievance in parliament to the Minister for Ports and Transport, Rita Saffioti, calling for the jetty to be fastened. 

The Minister dedicated to visiting the world and seeing the jetty, however didn’t commit funding to repair it. 

In a written assertion, Ms Saffioti mentioned ongoing research confirmed the sediment construct up was not stopping. 

“Given the uncertainty round future sediment build-up and variable native climate patterns, the Division of Transport will proceed to observe coastal processes within the space to find out whether or not long-term interventions change into viable,” she mentioned. 

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