Doug Shave

Doug Shave


    Government puts fishing online

    28/04/2000 10:00 AM

    Offshore fishing enters a new era today with the launch of a new website featuring satellite pictures that can be used to track game fish.

    Lands Minister Doug Shave launched Fishing Hotspots, an online service from the Department of Land Administration (DOLA), at the Fremantle fishing boat harbour.

    Found at (DOLA’s new ecommerce shopfront) Fishing Hotspots is the State Government’s first digitally paid-for and delivered product. Visitors to the site can choose the satellite image they need, pay online by credit card and receive the image by email.

    “The images are sea surface temperature charts which are used internationally because of their value in locating big game fish,” Mr Shave said.

    “Fishing enthusiasts will be able to access the charts on DOLA’s website within two hours of the satellite passing overhead, offering up-to-date information. Combining their own expertise and experience with the charts, they have a far greater chance of success.”

    Mr Shave said the charts had been used for some years by professional fishermen who had requested them from DOLA. However, new technology meant that they could now be supplied automatically via satellite and at reduced cost.

    “This online order, payment and delivery of digital charts is a first for the Western Australian Government,” the Minister said.

    “We have other products paid for online but this product was made for the Internet and is only available digitally.”

    Water temperature and currents played a major role in influencing the growth and survival of fish stocks and this meant DOLA’s sea surface temperature charts could pinpoint areas that may be rich harvest grounds for fishing.

    Research had shown that bait-fish often congregated along boundaries between cooler and warmer bodies of water, attracting large numbers of game fish.

    “The charts are developed using imagery from satellites positioned 800 kms away,” Mr Shave said.

    “The images change up to four times each day and outline temperature boundaries, currents and water movements along the coast from the North West Shelf through to the Bight.”

    The online availability of the charts follows the recent launch of DOLA’s 2000-2005 strategic plant, which highlights online services as a growth area for the agency.

    Media contact: John Clune 9213 6500