Alex's Fishing Column 26 March 2020

There’s not really much else I should write about this week except for the impact of Coronavirus on fishing.

Currently in the Territory, we are still allowed to go fishing, even though at this time it is deemed a non-essential activity.

However, the 1.5 metre social distancing rule applies and people are encouraged to fish by themselves or only with family or their household.

According to AFANT CEO, David Ciaravolo: “In order to do our part in preventing the spread of Coronavirus and to support the goal of saving lives, recreational fishers need to:

· maintain spatial distancing of 1.5 metres from other people;

· fish alone, with family, or with household members only;

· not gather to go fishing;

· not congregate at land-based fishing locations if distancing cannot be maintained; instead look for safe alternatives;

· not go fishing if you are in quarantine;

· self-isolate if you are unwell, and not go fishing if self-isolating

· check for regular updates at https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/ and https://www.health.gov.au/

Going fishing is great for mental health and well-being, and it can help put fresh healthy protein on the table,” David said.

“However, we are all aware of what happened on Bondi Beach over the weekend and, if people do the wrong thing, the Federal and Territory Governments have made it clear they will act decisively to prevent risky behaviour.

“We must also be aware that, even if we all do the right thing, it is possible that the health advice may change rapidly, and it will be everyone’s responsibility to follow the government’s directions.

“AFANT will do its best to keep you informed,” David explained.

I also spoke to AFANT President, Warren De With, who said: “We want everyone to do the right thing.

“Don’t go posting images on social media which clearly show anglers flouting the special-distancing rules.

“In fact, just don’t do it because both Federal and Territory Governments have made it clear that fishing will be banned if people don’t do the right thing.

Fishing and Outdoor World’s George Voukolos said he was surprised at just how busy the store has been.

“We have sanitisers everywhere and we make 100% sure social distancing is adhered to.

“But we sold out of ammunition, mainly because of orders from all the communities where they shoot the buffalo and bulls for food.

“The communities are also stocking up with handlines.

“We’ve been selling outfits and lures to locals, and last week we sold out of squid.

“Clearly people are fishing for food,” George said.

“The tackle stores are doing a wonderful job serving the community so they can hunt, fish and gather fresh food.

“We regard ourselves as an essential service, but we make sure we do everything responsibly as the Government has requested,” George explained.

If you haven’t heard, fishing and hunting in New Zealand were banned as of yesterday.

Hopefully, we can avoid that here, especially in the Territory with our wide-open spaces.

Not surprisingly, fishing tour operators are being impacted on severely by the various restrictions.

Clearly the Territory lockdown is hurting, as it is with all tourism, but fishing tour operators can hardly take groups of two or three people out in their boats, even if they are locals.

With any luck, the various stimulus packages will help operators through the business carnage they’re experiencing and are about to experience.

PHOTOS:




Bruno Jordanoff’s giant trevally was caught at Seven Spirit Bay early this month.




Stefan Jordanoff bagged this estuary rock-cod on a jig off Cobourg Peninsula early this month

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