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Gone Fishing

I am going to take some time out from this blog to try and complete a couple of projects that I’ve started, but am having trouble finishing. So there may be no new posts here for a while.

In the meantime you can subscribe for my irregular email updates here:

And check the ‘Community Home’ page for updates from other readers with their nature photographs and more here:

And here’s a picture I took of a fisher, a darter cormorant, in Kakadu National Park a few years ago.

Interestingly according to one account of life in the Lower Murray in South Australia one hundred years ago there was a bounty on cormorants (that are closely related to darters), with 34,000 taken in one year ostensibly because they ate too many fish [1].

[1] Travels in Australasia, by Wandandian see page 301

26th July 1909 at Caurnamont, near Mannum

‘Birds were very scarce, though we saw one fine old spoonbill wading round the swamp and swinging his head from side to side in the peculiar fashion these birds have while feeding.

On the latter day, while out shooting, I picked up a freshly decapitated turtle of the kind called by the natives “emys,” and on meeting a fisherman enquired of him whether he had caught many, and why it was without a head.

He replied that the turtles were so destructive of fish spawn, that a scalp fee of one penny was paid on the head of each by the Government, and that he caught a good many from time to time.

On further enquiry, I found that in the past year the South Australian Government had paid over £600 in scalping fees to various people for 116,000 turtles and 34,000 cormorants, thus satisfactorily explaining why the cormorants are so shy, and look upon every man with suspicion; for when one contemplates what a hunting they must have in the course of the year to furnish such an enormous “bag,” it would be decidedly strange if they were at all otherwise. In spite of all this I saw hundreds of them on the Murray and lake waters, so that I am sure many must pour in from outside to take the place of those that are shot, and should this be the case it will be many years before their numbers are at all reduced, or the Government get anything like the full value for their money, or even justify its expenditure.’

[Back then Murray cod were plentiful despite the turtles and the cormorant though now there are no Murray cod in that stretch of river below Lock 1.]


3,962 Responses to “Gone Fishing”

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  1. Comment from: el gordo

    Nup…they have already snipped me, so I won’t be joining you over there.

  2. Comment from: Ian Thomson

    John Sayers,
    So true about the water, but will the truth ever out itself ?

    I seem to get under 3% of all the water on Earth is fresh water and less than 3% of this is in permanent ice caps . I also seem to get Greenland’s one getting thicker in the last 1,000 years and the 9 feet of snow south of there last week would seem to indicate things are continuing that way.
    when Lake Agassiz was in existence , as the Laurentian Ice sheet melted, it contained more water than all the current lakes on Earth put together.
    ( That is a lot more than the 3% of fresh water. )
    This still only raised sea level by up to 3 metres and maybe a lot less, when it burst loose. Hardly the stuff of Algore horror shows and impossible now.

  3. Comment from: Debbie

    We don’t grow oranges for market Gavin,
    we are broad acre irrigators. We grow wheat, corn, canola, barley, oats, rice, fodder crops, soy beans, navy beans, sunflowers and the like.
    We have our own personal orchard with a variety of citrus and stone fruits plus we of course grow our own vegs.
    There are plenty of horticulturalists here in the MIA. Perhaps you should direct your enquiries there?
    Thanks for attempting to answer the question about what counts. However it was definitely about fish and whales not jellyfish.

  4. Comment from: spangled drongo

    So, you DO read WUWT gav. And there I was trying to relieve you of the pain. You old sneak.

    Gav’s more into jellyfish, Debbie. Too slipery to get an answer out of.

  5. Comment from: Debbie

    Graeme and SD,
    I just went and looked at your posts at Deltoid.
    Well done.
    They don’t seem to understand that their graphs do not prove what they say they prove.
    Chameleon pointed out that the original post actually outlines that these graphs are open to interpretation depending on the calendar points.
    They certainly don’t like you 2 asking them where the ‘real’ proof is.
    I also noticed that the new post there is attempting to defend Robyn Williams and the Science Show for their very poor analogy with paedophilia.
    Janama has taken them to task on that one. Whoever Janama is, they can trade insults for insults rather well.
    It does make for amusing reading.
    As EG said earlier, they are a rather humourless crowd there.
    There is even one commenter who is blaming ‘denialists’ for his lousy weather over the holiday period.
    Lost the plot maybe ???????

  6. Comment from: gavin

    My last post was in fact my last post on the old P4. We had a bolt of lightening which crackled with the flash. The boom from the cloud came a bit later. I did post what I had written, then disconnected the power. My next posts will come from “her indoors” who can see the little screen.

    Deb:- I know you are not fruit pickers at Buller Enterprises. Another guy from Young sold me 9kg of overripe Romas. That too kept me away from the blog.

  7. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Debbie, “Janama” is our very own John Sayers.

    ‘E done good!

  8. Comment from: Graeme M

    Debbie, I’d never have imagined they’d be that funny! I think there is a better crowd at places like Judith Curry’s and even Tamino’s. The Deltoids that we are arguing with are just downright bizarre. Lionel and his holiday weather takes the cake :) And they keep posting up graphs that show exactly the opposite of what they claim they show. What the? I’m not pretending to know better about climate but Geez… I’m not sure they know anything.

  9. Comment from: el gordo

    ‘I’m not sure they know anything.’

    They don’t know much, while Jen’s mob are up to speed and its a lot more fun that just arguing with Gavin.

    On another level you are guerilla fighters, out to embarrass ignorant twits and undermine their resolve, then return here for R & R.

    Its going to be a long protracted war and you’ll need to be thick skinned, but what fun.

  10. Comment from: el gordo

    Found this interesting …. the propaganda arm of the Klimatariat writ large.

  11. Comment from: John Sayers

    Thanks SD and Debbie – I’ll be out of it today as I’m flying back to OZ from Dubai. 14 hours straight!
    They really aren’t worth talking to as they are set in their ways and ignore any facts you put to them – I’ve tried many times.

  12. Comment from: spangled drongo

    You’re certainly not wrong there, John. If I had more sense I’d keep away too. You did a great job.

    Have a good flight.

  13. Comment from: Neville

    I’ve just popped in to wish everyone a good Christmas and a happy 2013. 2012 has been a good year for sceptics, that is the people who accept some warming over the last 100+ years but don’t see any recent evidence for any unusual SLR or temp increase or more extreme weather events etc over the last few decades.

    I’ve been too busy to engage here but I’ve now read all the recent posts here and at Deltoid, Jo Nova’s, Watts etc. BTW I think people like Matt Ridley etc could provide the extra weight and punching power to blow a hole in the extremist’s agenda next year.
    But he has a lot of mates to help him as well if they are only allowed to pubish in the MSM.
    Anyway all the best for 2013.

  14. Comment from: john sayers

    Merry Xmas everyone hopefully ill catch a glimpse of santa on this flight.

    Special merry xmas to Jen – hope you have a rewarding 2013!

  15. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Likewise a merry Christmas to Jen and all here.

  16. Comment from: cohenite

    You too SD; and I’ll leave you with this if you haven’t already seen it:

  17. Comment from: Graeme M

    Yes, Merry Christmas all. I’ve enjoyed reading all your contributions this year, even the now absent Luke. I close out the year less skeptical than I started and certainly more knowledgeable.

    Sadly all my extra knowledge just emphasises to me how little I really know. C’est la vie huh?

    Look forward to more discussion over the next year.

  18. Comment from: Graeme M

    Oh yeah, and the Austrian dude is nuts. Future deaths? WTF???

  19. Comment from: gavin

    lost it for a few hours during the electrical storms, had to connect a larger screen too cause my office help has retired. Going to be difficul to slam you diehards with a 15 inch but will see.

    happy hols all, stay cool and dry


  20. Comment from: Neville

    Bolt’s opinion of the warmist totalitarian who wants the death penalty for sceptics but not for the Norsman maniac who killed over seventy innocent ( mostly youngsters) people.

    Wonderful logic and reason , don’t kill one vile mass killer but instead kill many sceptics just because they hold a different opinion.
    Have a good Xmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

  21. Comment from: el gordo

    Cooling trend discovered in Alaska.

  22. Comment from: el gordo

    NH snowfall makes a recovery from global warming.

  23. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Monckton has a good plan on how to let the true believers off the hook to save face:

  24. Comment from: gavin

    Who mentioned the war?

    I see no heros here, just self apointed mischief makers clubbing with the enemies of Gaia.

    Eg. that “cooling” trend for Alaska is blog nonsense based on comments about obscure docs.

    An alternative source is the oft cited paper “The Impacts and Implications of An Intensifying Fire Regime On Alaskan Boreal Forest Composition and Albedo” When you mention cooling and ice, I look for wildfire activity on important low areas.

    Gaia won’t miss the impact of mankind anywhere.

  25. Comment from: Debbie

    That’s right Gav,
    mankind and human activity impacts the environment.
    Thank you captain obvious!
    Did it ever occur to you that from cave man days to the modern era it is entirely natural behaviour for humans to do that?
    Has it also occured to you that the more permanent impacts occur where humans congregate in large numbers and build permanent habitat in places like ummmm perhaps Canberra?
    Humanity is part of the environment too Gavin.
    Most of the time we all actually manage to muddle through OK.
    But we’re far from perfect.
    You might feel better if you accept that the word ‘impact’ is not a negative word. There are just as many (if not more) examples of postive & beneficial human impacts.
    Cheer up Gavin and enjoy Christmas & New Year with your family and friends.
    Even the weather in our part of the world has decided to be pleasant for Xmas.

  26. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Yes gav, species come and species go. How you must miss the Jurassic when you were a struggling mammal at the bottom of the food chain.

    Oh for them good ol’ days!

    BTW, what’s your method for threading fish hooks into your shirts so they can be easily removed for washing and ironing?

  27. Comment from: el gordo

    Gavin this makes more sense…

    The First Decade of the New Century: A Cooling Trend for Most of Alaska

    G. Wendler*, L. Chen and B. Moore

    Alaska Climate Research Center, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA

    ‘Abstract: During the first decade of the 21st century most of Alaska experienced a cooling shift, modifying the long-term warming trend, which has been about twice the global change up to this time. All of Alaska cooled with the exception of Northern Regions.

    ‘This trend was caused by a change in sign of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), which became dominantly negative, weakening the Aleutian Low. This weakening results in less relatively warm air being advected from the Northern Pacific. This transport is especially important in winter when the solar radiation is weak.

    ‘It is during this period that the strongest cooling was observed. In addition, the cooling was especially pronounced in Western Alaska, closest to the area of the center of the Aleutian Low. The changes seen in the reanalyzed data were confirmed from surface observations, both in the decrease of the North-South atmospheric pressure gradient, as well as the decrease in the mean wind speeds for stations located in the Bering Sea area.’

  28. Comment from: Robert

    Been away from the computer, but a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. My sister is proud to have the only lit up nativity display here in Potts Point. Very gaudy. You can see it if you look up from Macleay Street. (Sydney hipsters. Yuck.)

    But I send my best wishes even to climate alarmists and hipsters…everyone except that sour old hag Gaia. She can go to buggery.

    Thanks for the blog, Jen.

  29. Comment from: gavin

    A Century of Climate Change for Fairbanks, Alaska

    Gerd Wendler, Martha Shulski – Abstract

    “Climatological observations are available for Fairbanks, Interior Alaska, for up to 100 years. This is a unique data set for Alaska, insofar as it is of relatively high quality and without major breaks. Applying the best linear fit, we conclude that the mean annual temperature rose from -3.6?C to -2.2?C over the century, an increase of 1.4?C (compared to 0.8?C worldwide). This comparison clearly demonstrates the well-known amplification or temperature change for the polar regions. The observed temperature increase is neither uniform over the time period nor uniform throughout the course of a year. The winter, spring, and summer seasons showed a temperature increase, while autumn showed a slight decrease in temperature. For many activities, the frequencies of extremes are more important than the average values. For example, the frequency of very low temperatures (below -40?C, or -40?F) has decreased substantially, while the frequency of very high temperatures (above 26.7?C, or 80?F) increased only slightly. Finally, the length of the growing season increased substantially (by 45%) as a result of an earlier start in spring and a later first frost in autumn. Precipitation decreased for Fairbanks. This is a somewhat counter-intuitive result, as warmer air can hold more water vapor. The date of the establishment of the permanent snow cover in autumn showed little change; however, the melting of the snow cover now occurs earlier in the spring, a finding in agreement with the seasonal temperature trends. The records for wind, atmospheric pressure, humidity, and cloudiness are shorter, more broken, or of lower quality. The observed increase in cloudiness and the decreasing trend for atmospheric pressure in winter are related to more advection and warmer temperatures during this season.”

    SD; fish hooks go best into your hatband

  30. Comment from: Debbie

    And all the best for the festive season to you Robert and all and sundry who take the time to comment here.
    A special thanks to Jen.
    I don’t know who mother gaia really is. I sometimes think she must be a quasi religious figment of the imagination.
    Personally, I love and respect my surrounding environment, but I am fully aware that it is not a god nor is it either my special friend or enemy. It just is. Many of us are continuing to learn how best to work with it and enhance its productive capabilities.
    At the moment, in my patch, it has decided to deliver near perfect weather for xmas. Just gorgeous.

  31. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Somehow gav, I imagined you were more into fish hooks in eye lids and eye brows than hat bands.

    Y’know, to get them out you push them all the way through.

  32. Comment from: Neville

    Judith Curry doesn’t see much evidence for increasing rate of SLR, certainly no dangerous SLR.
    See her summary at end of post.

  33. Comment from: Mark A

    I don’t know about others but to me, any argument preceded or followed by the word “Gaia” loses most if not all of its value.

  34. Comment from: Mark A

    Being on holiday I’m just catching up with WUWT

    Sailing On The Moon Wind
    by Willis Eschenbach

    Excellent and thought provoking piece, provided one’s mind is still receptive.
    Having worked on a few fishing vessels in my foolish younger days before I realised there must be an easier way to make a living, his observation resonated well with me.

    Is it SD or el gordo the sailing man? You probably can relate to it. Maybe nothing in it but my own observation, now that I think back confirm it.

    This phenomena can also be observed on land actually.
    Of course we may all be wrong but I don’t believe so.

  35. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Dunno about Moon Winds Mark A. But trying to make passage in the doldrums can be maddening so anything that comes your way is more than welcome.

    There is nothing more magnificent than getting a 3-5 knot breeze by the light of the silvery, though, provided it is for’ard of the beam and your speed can amplify it into a 10 knotter.

    I’ve had some of the best sailing of my life in those conditions. You never want it to end.

  36. Comment from: Debbie

    Gotta agree with you on the gaia point Mark A.
    Arguing as if gaia cares or wants someone to speak on behalf of really doesn’t make a great deal of sense.
    Especially considering the argument is almost always from a misanthropist viewpoint.

  37. Comment from: gavin

    Gaia is more than just a usefull concept from Lovelock. For me its a quick outline of who depends on what in that thin layer of all things living on planet Earth. The intervoven cyclrs of life have a present, a past and a future. To continue, no one form should not dominate all others, Recycling requires extra energy and that must be shared too. This natural order requires a past and a future . There is no exclusive long term combination.

    Lad came to sort my laptop mail setup, hope to post pics again but he can’t fix those tiny keys. Three foul strokes and I should be out so keep watching.

    Back to Gaia, bump the system an the whole will take a step somewhere. no religion needed, Given hindsight we may see the foul

  38. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    speaking in tongues again gav?
    Never mind.
    “Recycling requires extra energy”

    gav most of the times recycling takes more energy and resources than creating a new item.
    Everyone who is in the recycling business knows that, why does it escapes you?

  39. Comment from: el gordo

    Didn’t Lovelock recant?

  40. Comment from: gavin

    Who says I’m not aware of recycling issues

    JW. who are you, in saying I’m not aware of recycling issues?

    Today, I failed to cold bend a large Sidchrome ring spanner back to it’s original shape, one of forty odd to be polished up for resale. Tonight I will grade them again. Earlier, I split a variety of domestic hardware between our salvage and dump bins with an emphasis on plastics for recycling. Every week I dismantle a number of appliances with total return of materials in mind including all those tiny tamper proof screws.

    At the industrial level, I did similar operations with hand held communications, rechargeable batteries etc.

    At the macro level, it could be our entire production that had to be recycled in bad times. In the end, it was the processing plant, equipment, labs, cables, scavageings, waste dumps , while several acquaintences, million $ guys handeled house lots or workshops from various townships, farms and busineses.

    Its this background that helps me lobby the pollies in good times

  41. Comment from: gavin

    ‘We will have global warming, but it’s been deferred a bit.’

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  42. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    Gavin, you have the bad habit of never addressing the issues raised, or answering a direct question.
    You just go on your merry way waffling on and on.

    I simply stated that some recycling cost more and takes more energy and resources than creating a new item, therefore not actually saving the resources or the environment.

    You answer? Getting stroppy and carrying on about something completely unrelated.

    Your personal recycling habits gave nothing to do with anything. I take it you are retired and your time is free to spend it any way you like.

    Guarantee you, if you were on a $150/hour retainer you wouldn’t spend your working hours trying to unbend crooked spanners. Maybe after hours you might.

  43. Comment from: gavin

    Over my shoulder says it’s all true and s good post JW

    My point was, jf we make it, we use it then recycle it. Alternativly, every customer needs to return a product at the end of its life, directly or indirectly regardless of source. That may require a fair amount of human energy as opposed to the throw away society we have today. Our trash has a cost that isn’t factored in.

    With some delight I watched a younger recycling cobber recieve your average analogue tv from a bunch of usual pollies in front of the national media. but all he had to do was wrap it with others on a pallet to be taken elsewhere by a covered semi trailer.

    There is no such deal however for my useless old P4 with it’s dead power supply but we can hope it goes out the back door at the same depot with some other scavenger.

    I am retired

  44. Comment from: Neville

    Well Gav at least Lovelock admitted he got it wrong. I think it’s becoming clear that the feedbacks are indeed negative and we will probably see about 1c temp increase for a doubling of co2 by 2100.

    If the C/F PDO lasts for another decade or three we will see temp flatlining for a while yet, but who knows.

    But we do know there is nothing we can do about it because co2 increases are beyond our control and firmly in the China and the India non OECD camp.

    We know the Gillard govt couldn’t care less about exported co2 emissions so why should we concern ourselves about the piffling emissions emitted here in OZ?
    Our tiny emissions reduction here in Oz by 2020 will be mostly found from corrupt certificates
    costing us billions $ sent overseas for a guaranteed zero return.

    Zero change in the climate or temp and our savings (?) in emissions replaced by China etc in a matter of months.
    You have to ask are our govt and their idiot supporters really so barking mad that they can’t understand simple kindy maths?
    How can the MSM not understand this stupidity and why don’t more journos speak out?

  45. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Gav, JW is right about the economics but you are right about the net commons re recycling.

    Also there is the great satisfaction of just fixing things if you have that inclination.

  46. Comment from: Debbie

    I congratulate you on your socially responsible behaviour re recycling.
    Did you happen to notice that you actually did what Mark A pointed out earlier?
    Other people who don’t invoke gaia also recycle.
    I would also suggest that other people and other cultures have been recycling far longer than you and that they don’t do it because they want to stop SLR.
    Just because people question the politics surrounding ACO2 & CAGW does not mean they don’t care about the environment or that they are any less socially responsible than you.
    JW is also correct that some forms of recycling actually use more resources and energy than just replacement.
    It’s really a much better idea to pay attention to what makes sense and what works rather than blindly adhering to a political ideology.
    Neville’s oft made point about mitigating CO2 emissions in OZ is a good example and Jen’s oft made point about the barrages is another.
    People invoke gaia to try and justify political ideology that has no basis in practical reality. It just won’t work no matter how morally or politically correct it may sound.

  47. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Got up early and sanded and varnished the boat in readiness to take the grandkids sailing in the holidays.

    Kids today are so divorced from the real world, completely hypnotised by all their electronic toys that are tomorrow’s junk.

    They don’t really want to go sailing but I throw ‘em in and when we get going and the real world starts to sink in, the smiles start to appear and the program for the future starts to get printed.

  48. Comment from: cohenite

    gav never disappoints; some authentic green/AGW gibberish:

    “Gaia is more than just a usefull concept from Lovelock. For me its a quick outline of who depends on what in that thin layer of all things living on planet Earth. The intervoven cyclrs of life have a present, a past and a future. To continue, no one form should not dominate all others, Recycling requires extra energy and that must be shared too. This natural order requires a past and a future . There is no exclusive long term combination.”

    A bit of a worry though when gav says this:

    “To continue, no one form should not dominate all others,”

    That sounds as though gav is disavowing Darwinism and the survival of the fittest; but then that is the Disney view of nature, kind and nurturing, which the greenies subscribe to.

  49. Comment from: Debbie

    I guess it’s very easy to subscribe to that view of nature if you live in the highly protected urban environment of Australia?

  50. Comment from: gavin

    Re Darwin’s view v Lovelock, each species can evolve towards a nich location on/in Gaia with our Gaia collectve adjusting climate and environment for external impacts IMO of course

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