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Wa Fisheries On A Rampage To Rid Wa Of Shrimp


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#1 Mr_docfish

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 07:54 PM

For those who are not privy to what has been going on this week -

WA Fisheries Director has a bee in his bonnet about people selling Cherry Shrimp.

Several raids have been done in order to confiscate or destroy ornamental shrimp (including native species) - this includes private residences.....

The Senior Officer involved in the raids (complete with video camera) is using fear and scare tactics, hoping that the information is spread around WA that no one can trade in Cherry Shrimp.

However, he is doing so by telling people involved that they do not have licences to sell the shrimp, and that you need translocation approval from fisheries if you want to deal in shrimp... This is a blatant lie, and he knows it (I have told him personally, and wrote it down for him with extracts from the Act and Regulations).

I have passed on full information as to the rights (as per the legislations) we have as ornamental fish hobbyists to the committee before it gets posted up for everyone to read. (see below)

Please read this asap if you feel at all concerned that fisheries will raid your home - it will give you a heads up and the right legislation that exempts us from applying for Aquaculture licences or translocation approvals.


In short:

If someone says you need an aquaculture licence to trade in shrimp or aquarium fish -
Quote this:
Under Section 90 of the Act and section 68 of the Regulations (Fisheries Resources Management Act / Regulations)
You are breeding and selling the shrimp/fish as ornamental fish for ornamental purposes and you are not breeding in commercial quantities and you only trade with other ornamental fish hobbyists and retail fish stores - who are also exempt

If you get someone saying you need a translocation approval to move the shrimp into or around the state -
Quote this:
The shrimp/fish are involved in “the movement of fish into ornamental holding facilities” - this is nothing to do with aquaculture systems or release/introduction into a waterway, so are exempt from requiring any form of approval from fisheries.

There is also no current management plans to rid the state of ornamental shrimp, so fisheries does not have the legal right to confiscate/destroy fish or shrimp under these above conditions.



Dont ask me for more detail as to who and how many people have been raided - I dont want to push the barrow of the fisheries, now that I am aware of their tactics - this is what they want....

Edited by Mr_docfish, 20 April 2013 - 10:27 PM.


#2 PCS_Committee

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 10:15 PM

FYI correspondence between Oliver and the PCS Committee below.


QUOTE (Mr_docfish)
Someone just got busted yesterday - a young couple who have been selling a few shrimp on gumtree - they had everything killed with chlorine (or similar) including plants and other tank inhabitants..... they were told they did not have an aquaculture licence, which is incorrect....

please post something up tonight in regard to WA Fisheries Raiding LFS and some hobbyists for shrimp, and that they are not acting correctly under the current legislation as we see it, but will not disclose the actual legislation that they are acting under..... and they are lying to the people that they are raiding, and not allowing them time to research their rights before the raid is over.

WA Fisheries and Raids to destroy Ornamental Shrimp

Everyone breeding & selling aquarium fish or shrimps is covered under 'Ornamental Aquarium Fish
In the context of this document, the term 'fish is used in accordance with its definition in the Fisheries Resources Management Act 1994 (FRMA) which includes all aquarium fish, invertebrates (eg shrimp) and parts thereof.
As long as you do not sell your fish to an aquaculture facility or release the fish into any waterway but only sell to other hobbyists or stores for ornamental use, then you are not involved in Aquaculture, Aquaponics, or related fields and all the fish that leave your premises are directed to ornamental use in Aquariums.
_________

You do not need an Aquaculture Licence to breed or sell your Ornamental fish/shrimp:

In regards to Division 1 of the Fisheries Resources Management Act 1994 - Aquaculture Licensing,
Under Section 91 (a) there states:
Exceptions to s. 90
Section 90 does not apply to or in relation to any person by reason only of the person -
(a) keeping, breeding, hatching, culturing, harvesting or selling any fish of a prescribed class, for a prescribed purpose or in a prescribed area

Of which the prescribed class/area being stated in the Fisheries Resources Management Regulations 1995, Under Section 68, Subsection 1, there covers the prescribed class/areas as noted in the Act s. 91(a) above:
Classes of fish etc. prescribed (Act s. 91(a) and (d))
(1 ) Fish of the following specified classes for the following specified purposes or areas are prescribed for the purpose of section 91(a) of the Act —
(a ) all fish in respect of all non commercial purposes; and
(b ) all fish, excluding marron, in respect of display or ornamental hobby purposes; and
© all fish in respect of display or ornamental purposes in retail establishments

You are not required to obtain an Aquaculture License under the Act.

__________

You do not need translocation approvals for your Ornamental fish/shrimp.

In regards to translocation, under the ‘Policy for Managing Translocations of Live Fish into and within Western Australia’ there states:

Scope
This policy applies to translocations of live fish, as defined in the FRMA, into
or within WA, including both deliberate translocations and the management of
accidental introductions of fish. This policy applies to:
• movements of fish into aquaculture systems;
• introduction of non-endemic fish; and
• release of native fish.

Where ‘Introduction’ is described in the policy as:
'The release or establishment of a fish outside its historically known native distribution.

As mentioned above 'all the fish that leave our premises are directed to ornamental use in Aquariums. - Aquarists are involved in the movement of fish into ornamental holding facilities.

The fish that leave your premises are not included in this scope.

You are not required to obtain translocation approvals.


__________


There are no active Management Plans to remove ornamental shrimp in WA

In regards to any Management Plan under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007
Under Section 46, Subsection 1, states:
Consultation with affected persons
(1 ) Before issuing a management plan, the Minister must, as far as is appropriate and reasonably practicable to undertake, consult with the public authorities and any other persons which or who appear to the Minister to be likely to be -
(a ) required to take part in implementing the plan; or
(b ) put to expense in complying with the plan; or
(c ) affected, or interested, in a significant way by the operation of the plan.

A search of the WA Government Gazette, has not uncovered any management plan for ornamental shrimp. If there is any management plan in effect in order to eradicate or control shrimps in WA, Aquarium Stores and the Perth Cichlid Society (where fish and shrimp are being traded) should have been notified before the issuing of the Management Plan.

__________

Other than all the above Sections of related Acts and Regulations, WA Fisheries have no valid reasons for the confiscation of shrimps.

No information has been provided to affected parties or stake holders in writing as to what Acts, Regulations or other Legislation that the Fisheries Officers involved are operating under.

Requests, in writing via email to Senior Fisheries Officer Darren Harbord, to be provided with required information so that we are aware of the legislation that we are allegedly contravening. He has refused to provide this information under instruction from his superior, Fisheries Compliance Manager Russell Adams this is a legal right of the WA Fisheries Dept. to treat you like a mushroom.

Unless we are notified otherwise, ornamental fish keepers and breeders can assume that they have a free right to continue to trade in ornamental fish and freshwater shrimp sourced locally in WA and from interstate.

We need to band together and form a 'brick wall until the Director of WA Fisheries decides he is capable of discussing the issue that his officers are being directed under - rather than continue with the wholesale destruction of ornamental shrimp/fish and other aquarium inhabitants which is an abuse of the overwhelming powers that the WA fisheries have amassed.

Currently, the WA Fisheries is putting together changes to the act, in particular Biosecurity, which is being done behind closed doors, in secrecy the aim is to make it even harder for ornamental fish keepers to continue with their hobby as we know it today (among other changes).

Discussion with interested parties should be their first step to enlighten us all of the legalities of keeping ornamental fish and shrimp in this state.
Treating us all like drug dealers and paedophiles with cameras and excess numbers of officers is a waste of resources the raids carried out do not fit the alleged crime committed (or no crime if you read the FMRA).


The PCS, ANGFA and all WA ornamental fish keepers should band together to contact the Minister of Fisheries or the Director/CEO of Fisheries (or both) and any other higher power to explain our grievances as individuals, we have no hope…..




Trading in Ornamental Shrimp along with other Ornamental Fish, is part of a billion dollar Aquarium Industry in Australia. Together the industry employs thousands of Australians and the majority are small businesses that support hard working Australian families. Hobbyists are protected under the current legislation and are exempt from licences and approvals contrary to accusations made by the Fisheries Officers during their raids.




If the Fisheries are at your door….

If you get a visit at your door (private residence) from any WA Fisheries Officer you have a right to refuse them entry until you have viewed (and read) the search warrant that they need to have in order to enter your premises (you get to keep a copy).

You also have the right to wait for them to contact the police in order to enforce the warrant in which case, the police will explain the warrant for you if you do not understand it.

You also have the right to refuse to say anything other that provide your name, address and date of birth for their records.

You do not have to provide anything that is not outlined in their search warrant.

Print out the information listed above if they claim that you need any of the following:
• Aquaculture breeding licence
• Translocation permit/approval

You DO NOT need any other above licences or approvals to keep or breed or sell your fish/shrimp/plants.
You are covered under the Fisheries Resources Management Act 1994 and Regulation 1995 as being a hobbyist dealing in ornamental fish for ornamental use and for sale to a trader in ornamental fish.
YOU ARE NOT BREAKING ANY STATE LAW

If possible, if they are recording you, read out the printed information above in front of the camera and then ask under what section of the legislation they are confiscating/killing your fish/shrimp. Then request a copy of the video tape (you have a right to have a copy)



Keep Calm & Good luck but don’t expect your shrimp/fish back if they kill or confiscate any and they are not liable for replacing them or refunding you if they are wrong you have to take them to court to do so….. stop them from going any further by knowing your rights!


#3 slink

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 08:03 AM

Have you heard if they are threatening with any fines? Or just confiscating fish and shrimps?

#4 Sergio

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 08:20 AM

Damn, i wish i had this information when they rocked up at my door!
I'm now shrimpless... sad.gif

The whole process was very full on and unnecessary.
No fines are being given out, but they are taking away all shrimp.

#5 Mr_docfish

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 09:04 AM

After reading the act over and over again and referring to the regulations which serve as the fine print for the act, there is one maybe two possibilities where the fisheries can use these powers:

If the director general of fisheries believes (even without evidence) that there is a potential disease risk from an imported organism and that organism is at risk of entering our waterways and affecting any aquaculture species with that potential disease then he can direct his officers to seize or destroy those organisms and he must feel that they must do it as a raid because he feels that otherwise the owners of these organisms will prevent the said seizure or destruction... They are only after people selling shrimp, not keeping, so he feels that the trading in shrimps makes them a disease risk, but keeping them is not...

Either way you look at it, when you hear what the Senior officer involved in these raids says about licensing and translocation, he is lying... There is no need to lie if the reasons to seize or destroy are valid.
The shrimp they have seized have been tested for diseases of quarantine concern - I will be waiting for that outcome....

If they are so concerned about disease that might end up in our prawn industry, then consider the raw prawn meat you can buy that is imported - you can hook it up and use it as bait - introducing known diseases directly into the ocean where the prawns live - our shrimp go no where near a prawn....

#6 waxy

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 09:12 AM

QUOTE (Mr_docfish @ Apr 21 2013, 09:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If they are so concerned about disease that might end up in our prawn industry, then consider the raw prawn meat you can buy that is imported - you can hook it up and use it as bait - introducing known diseases directly into the ocean where the prawns live - our shrimp go no where near a prawn....


Very good point.
These include imported prawns for human consumption that are in some cases fed foods including sewerage.

#7 Mr_docfish

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 09:16 AM

YOU ARE NOT BREAKING ANY RULES OR REGULATIONS IN KEEPING AND SELLING SHRIMP - THERE ARE NO FINES INVOLVED
Unless you are given a written direction, you are not required to do anything - you can restock your shrimps again and continue keeping them.
Once their stunt has burnt out, there will be a group of interested people banding together with the help of a lawyer to uncover the underhandedness and put forward a claim against the director of fisheries.... But while they are "still following up enquiries" they do not have to answer to us (mushroom method)


#8 Scales

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 12:32 PM

This is rediculous!!!

What kind of small minded small balled person needs to make themselves feel better by enforcing rules that don't exist???

Pathetic

#9 scotty81

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 01:41 PM

Sorry to here Sergio, you had some nice looking shrimp. Is there any way that action can be taken against fisheries.....I mean if they are telling lies surely there is a way of getting back at them.

#10 Anka

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 02:40 PM

Ollie, is there any animal cruelty laws that fisheries would have broken by killing the shrimp? Dying via chlorination would be a pretty horrible death.

#11 bigjohnnofish

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 11:01 PM

so mr docfish... does that mean after fisheries tested your shrimp and assuming they dont have any diseases will then return them to you ??? aquatic organism testing would surely have to be gazetted some where (on their website) so the general public and community (including aquaculturulists) could see the results as this could be of real importance if some horrific disease is present. OMG the disease must be so terrible - how do the shrimp survive this ???

let me guess this will all change after september when we have a new government???

if this is such an urgent situation why hasnt this been done 8 years ago when cherry shrimp first turned up... how come now? it would seem the horse has already bolted... when your boat has a small hole in the hull you plug it straight away... seems like they have left it till the small hole has become a gaping big fountain of water...

i dont understand if the situation needs such dire response by fisheries wouldnt it be better to advertise an amnesty for all shrimp to be handed in for testing... surprise raids are now no longer a surprise everybody knows whats happening and people have either destroyed their shrimp or released them into their local waterway in fear of fisheries.... or gone underground....

i did notice in your post doc that any management plan under the biosecurity and aquaculture act 2007 under section 46 subsection 1 states : - consultation with affected persons... before issuing a management plan , the minister must , as far as appropriate and reasonably practicable to undertake , consult with the public authorities and any other persons which or who appear to the minister to be likely to be - (a) required to take part in implementing the plan , or (b ) put to expense in complying with the plan, or © affected or interested , in a significant way by the operation of the plan.

to me that means aquarium shops would be right on the top of the list... so fisheries have broken their own law ??? is that correct ???... isnt this the reason we have laws ??? man someone is gonna get their butt roasted once the crap has settled.... a good lawyer will tear strips off the person that initiated this..., i suppose being in fisheries he is exempt from being taken to court... but that wouldn't stop a huge civil case against him personally... that would hurt him and his own personal wealth (assuming he is a he and not a she!!! lol).... doc if i was you i would contact the minister for fisheries directly - it seems to me something isnt right here....

were the shrimp you had taken away expensive doc?

so does this apply to exotic shrimp??? so what about the native stuff like glass shrimp and ninja (chameleon shrimp) etc... i used to keep glass shrimp when i was a kid - they been here forever... they are all through the avon/swan river system... we used to find them everywhere... even in lake leschenaultia and the tributries to mundaring weir had them as well... and john forest national park... even in peoples dams... they get transferred by waterbirds much the same as gambusia(that was a good introduction by the govt - not) does....

sorry for the rant - shite longest post ever

#12 bigjohnnofish

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 11:08 PM

QUOTE (Mr_docfish @ Apr 21 2013, 09:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
After reading the act over and over again and referring to the regulations which serve as the fine print for the act, there is one maybe two possibilities where the fisheries can use these powers:

If the director general of fisheries believes (even without evidence) that there is a potential disease risk from an imported organism and that organism is at risk of entering our waterways and affecting any aquaculture species with that potential disease then he can direct his officers to seize or destroy those organisms and he must feel that they must do it as a raid because he feels that otherwise the owners of these organisms will prevent the said seizure or destruction... They are only after people selling shrimp, not keeping, so he feels that the trading in shrimps makes them a disease risk, but keeping them is not...


ummm from an imported organism..... well it seems glass shrimp and native stuff is exempt then???.... they certainly werent imported.... that answers one question for you doc...


#13 Mr_docfish

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 11:13 AM

They still took natives..... They said I needed a translocation approval for them... When I did not, but at the time, I was not given the chance to read up on the regulations.... But no, they will not give them back and the director of fisheries and everyone else in between in the department are immune to prosecution, even civil suits...
All you can do is stop them at the pass before they start killing and taking by telling them what is right and wrong - catch them out lying...

Im looking into the processes and methods for killing animals humanely - since shrimp are invertebrates, they are not covered under many rules... But if any fish were in the same tank, then there is an issue - chlorine is not suitable...
But i will dig all that info up this week and post it up...

#14 werdna

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 12:52 PM

The stupid thing is Fisheries are struggling to keep up with the number of translocation permits entered for Rainbow Trout, Silver Perch and Barra for AP purposes.

It is free to enter a translocation permit.
Maybe everyone should fill one in for shrimp and post it in.
Lets see how they handle 2000 permits for native shrimp...

#15 tywonreef

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 02:41 PM

the main area where this can potentially fall down is the fact that none of these exotic shrimp have ever been an allowable import. This would require a test case to appear before the courts & if found against us, then the entire industry could be at risk.

Basically it could result in almost all cichlids & many other species being potentially seized & destroyed. I went through this many years ago with native glass shrimp. Fisheries came in,seized them all & destroyed them saying they were a native animal & covered under the flora & fauna laws. I have discussed this since with the fisheries & the problem is that no one has ever been given an exemption to collect them, therefore the initial commercial supply was illegal, meaning that all future supply could also be potentially illegal. This was a grey area that only the courts could rule on. They suggested that as I had been warned, best to not do it or they will use me for that test case.

I suggest if you get them seized, just go with it & re stock later. The potential risk to the hobby from this going to the courts is huge.

A couple of examples - Kev from Malaga, when he was going to set up the largest cichlid commercial breeding operation we have seen. Built everything & applied to fisheries for a license - He was then informed that they would not be allowed to breed or keep any fish that had not appeared on the allowable import list (since 1974 I think). They were informed that they must dispose of all the current stocks & would be inspected shortly. There was no arguing or a potentially damaging court case would ensue, one that they would not win. He sold all the fish asap so they would not be destroyed.

Mark from atlantis had all of his display gars seized (along with some D. compressiceps for some reason), he had to inform them as to where he got them from & the supplier ended up with fisheries on their doorstep. Even though it was pointed out that they were no breaking any laws as they were not illegal to keep, they must have been smuggled in & intended on chasing down the culprits. He had no choice but to co operate as the fish were culled anyway & he would not get them back.

My own experience with glass shrimp & the same for many shops with gambusia several years ago (before they were noxious)

Arguing with fisheries will do no one any favours, even if we are operating within a loophole of law, the law was broken at some stage when the initial stocks were obtained. They can & will ban the keeping of all tropical fish/shrimp that are not on the allowable import list if challenged.

Please co operate with them & think of the potential damage to the industry in general if we try to make fools of them. They have unlimited funds & plenty of lawyers, no skin off their noses.

They will get over their current rampage & thing should return to normal.

#16 tywonreef

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 02:52 PM

just a note on the above, this is actually Paul fro Morley aquariums using tywon reefs account as I cannot access my own for some reason.

Again, I ask you not to argue with these guys by using legal loopholes, at some stage the import laws were broken & they will almost definitely win any test case. If you think the noxious list is big now, watch what happens if they cop a hard time. There is no reasoning with them.

#17 Mr_docfish

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 05:59 PM

These are not loop holes in the law - these are actual sections in the legislation that were put there to protect hobbyists....
Kev did not need an aquaculture licence - but they did not tell him that - they either prefer the money from the licence or the power from the fact.... And Fisheries do not have the power to act on the Biosecurity act 1996 which is a federal act, not state - this is the only Act that has the power to confiscate illegally imported fish and their progeny....

Im not advocating stopping the fisheries from doing what they want to do (they have more power than a federal officer) but Im informing everyone if their legislated rights so this will stop the fisheries officer from lying in order to scare an individual....

I am just against the scare tactics - fair enough if they are using legal legislation, but not fair game if they are operating on a scare tactic appointed by the director using false accusations....


If you bend over and let them walk over you, they will keep on doing it... If you stand up and rebut their lies, then they will have to settle down and find a different industry to find their kicks.... We are just easy pickings....

Edited by Mr_docfish, 22 April 2013 - 06:00 PM.


#18 matthewanson

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:56 PM

Paul I disagree with you in regards to avoiding conflict. If push came to shove and a case went to court regarding grey listed fish and for some reason it was ruled that they are noxious, that would make the majority of ornamental fish that we keep in Australia and effectively cause the industry to crumble (which would not be allowed to happen.) I'd sooner see the spotlight shone on the topic now to speed up the arrival of a revolution.

In regards to the shrimp, I wonder what set them off? Surely someone didn't just wake up on the wrong side of the bed and think "I'm gunna go steal me some shrimp."

#19 Bickley

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 07:00 PM

Would make sense if one of the guys from fisheries bred shrimp lol good way to rise prices smile.gif

#20 tywonreef

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 08:36 PM

You are no doubt correct ollie, they are acting outside the law. However there is no doubt that these animals have arrived illegally & as such bypassed any biosecurity measures. If tested in a court this could have major implications & our industry exposed to a much higher level of scrutiny. In places such as the northern territory there are far stricter limits on what you can keep & this sort of example could be presented as being a workable alternative for w.a.
I question whether arguing over the shrimp is worth it. As you mentioned those affected have not broken any laws, just let them do their thing & re stock later as suggested. Feel free to defend your rights by telling them the law, but avoid preventing them from taking action. They will finish the current 'attack' & things will return to normal soon if history is anything to go by.
I would question if sticking up for our rights to the point of court cases would be a wise move considering the amount of effort the govt. Has been putting into increased noxious lists & biosecurity measures lately, there are obviously some people with serious legislative powers that have a big say at the moment.
I for one would certainly not like to see this tested in court on a principle basis. Remember these are smuggled. If it was over cichlids that have been here for years & could possibly have arrived legally prior to the restrictions, then go for it.
Please do not think i agree or condone fisheries actions for 1 second, but we should choose our battles wisely. I for one would not like to see my livelihood threatened.
I thoroughly respect your opinions & appreciate that you are correct in respect to the law. A combined working group to deal with this issue from respected groups is a good idea as it will deal with those in power, not the clown in your doorstep.




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