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Fisherman says saline degradation still present

Wendy Collis, Monday July 29, 2013 - 15:14 EST
ABC image
Lake Alexandrina, part of the end of the Coorong and Lower Lakes system. - ABC
ABC image
Lake Alexandrina in 2009 when water levels were significantly lower. - ABC

Gary Hera-Singh is a fifth-generation commercial fisherman on the Coorong and Lower Lakes of South Australia.

For nearly 30 years, he has held a fishing licence and he now operates a sustainable fishery.

He says that freshwater flows and the management of the freshwater flows since 2010 have assisted with the recovery of the Coorong, but that the South Lagoon is still highly degraded due to levels of high salinity.

Mr Hera-Singh remembers fishing on the Coorong as a child.

"Just 40 years ago, you used to count birds in the acres and we used to count fish in the tonnes. Now you count birds in the dozens and you count fish in the kilos - that's the difference.

"And so that is what we have seen in the last 30 to 40 years, the very cancerous influence of high salinities over a long period of time.

"And I guess the unfortunate part is that very few people can remember how things were 40 years ago, and the way the Coorong is now people just accept as being the norm, and it's not - it's far from it."


© ABC 2013

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