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A new committee, but with a familiar look.

Andy Pennisi and Chris Baty - key players in our 90 years of history

There's a great honour in being a part of the world's second oldest game fishing clubs committee.

It won't go down in history as a complete changing of the guard, but a few key figures have shuffled places as the Club looks towards what will be a big 2024-25 season.

Every AGM STC office bearers stand down as nominations for committee roles are made and received. This time around we learnt current Club Secretary and Treasurer Andrew Pennisi, who held this position for more than half a decade, requested to vacate his role and ask to be considered for a general committee position only. Andy has worked hard keeping the Club's finances in balance, as well as being our conduit to the VGFA. Andy was successfully elected to a committee position, where he will continue to work with GFAV on behalf of the Club.

And it was only last year Chris Baty, president for over 5 years resigned and handed the reigns to his Vice President Scott Gowland. Chris too had planned to remain on the committee, however early in the year had to make the tough decision to stand down. Both Chris and Andy have been a wonderful constant for the Club, in a period where Club activity were severely hampered. Their game fishing experience and interest has held us in good stead. No doubt they'll be around at the next dinner, fishing trip or event to pass on your thanks and of course chat about along things game fishing related.

Former Swordfish and Tunny Club President Chris Baty
Chris was president and a driving force behind the Club's documentary, The First Marlin.

After the shuffling of the deck chairs the following Club members hold the following positions on the committee:

President: Scott Gowland (Re-elected)

Vic President : Allen Gowland (New position)

Mark Nan Tie: Secretary/Treasurer (New position)

Andrew Pennisi: Committee (New position)

Tim Simpson: Committee (Re-elected)

David Ellis: Committee (Re-elected)

Kel Taylor: Committee (Re-elected)

Vic Teasdale: Committee (Re-elected)

Chris Baty: Committee (Re-elected - now resigned)

If by way you'd be interested being a part of the committee and support this dedicated group please share an expression of interest to Mark Nan Tie. Positions for the committee will open prior to the AGM in November 2024.

All contact details for the committee can be found on the committee page on our website.

Female SBTs reach sexual maturity at 11 to 12 years of age, enabling them to spawn. At this age they weigh around 80kgs. In the right conditions each fish lays tens of millions of eggs when spawning. Jump forward a dozen years from the low point in biomass (around the mid 1980s) and you can deduce that by the late 1990s these mid 1980s fish were now ready to spawn. Move ahead another dozen years and you've arrived at the time when these fish began to be caught in more consistent numbers and at record sizes. 30 or so years of management had enabled a recovery to occur. Not to anywhere near the biomass it was in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, but enough to notice that the larger fish were now in the system and supporting the population. Today it's recorded that 23% of the biomass spawn yearly and this figure continues to rise. It got too as low as low as 9%.

Julian also noted how the tagging program had a big say on working out how this fishery and the fish in it moved, reproduced and grew. It was a fascinating presentation that lifted the lid on why this particular fish stock fell so sharply, yet rose again with good management.

Recreational catch of SBTs was estimated at 270 tonne in 2018-19 (18,000 fish).

As for why the barrels are now being caught in such solid numbers and how tightly held Australian records have fallen across many line classes tens of times in the past decade, still remains a mystery to Julian. Most larger fish travel well behind the recreational anglers limits, based on commerical longlining rdata, but more recently have ventured closer to shore. Could it be global warming?

Regardless, those in attendance thoroughly enjoyed what Julian presented and his appreciation for the opportuntity to be amongst a group of anglers who hold deep roots in the game fishing fraternity. No doubt, we'll looking to get Julian back in the near future to thrill and educate us again.

Julian also extended his generosity by gifting books to the evenings raffle. Kel Taylor was one of the lucky winners, taking home a signed copy of Julian's 'Fishing for the Past. Casting nets and lines into Australia’s early colonial history.'

STC Annual Dinners have long been highly regarded for their caliber of guest speaker. For 2024 we can confirm owner operator of Dream Catcher 2 Sportfishing Adventers skipper Richard Abela will be joining us to share in his secrets about fishing for and catching the mighty Broadbill Swordfish. This year's Annual Dinner has been set for Friday November 22nd at The Australian Club.

About Julian

"Dr. Pepperel is an Australian marine biologist and author, and a leading authority on marlin, sailfish, tuna, and sharks. Throughout his distinguished career in marine science, he has undertaken numerous projects on the general biology, life history, movements and stock structure of pelagic fishes, including tunas, billfish and sharks.

The majority of his work has been conducted in collaboration with the Australian government, universities and state fisheries departments as well as with other universities around the globe. He developed the Australian Game Fish Tagging Program, which at the time was the largest such project in the world. Perhaps one of his greatest accomplishments was developing a code of practice for recreational fishing in Australia in 2007.

Dr. Pepperell has been the keynote speaker at numerous important recreational and commercial fishery conferences and symposia over many decades and has acted in a leadership or advisory role in nearly every major workshop, symposium or conference on highly migratory species at a national and international level since 1992.

Dr. Pepperell received the IGFA Conservation Award in 1999 and is also the recipient of the Rybovich Lifetime Conservation Award from The Billfish Foundation. He is also a member of the Cairns Game Fishing Hall of Fame."


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