Queensland fishing boats.
Queensland announces important fisheries reforms
Friday, January 11, 2019, 00:50 (GMT + 9)
The Queensland Government announced a series of proposed measures for the reform of the State’s trawl, crab and east coast inshore fisheries.
This document that outlines the new measures provides certainty about fisheries changes to be implemented later this year, and will apply to commercial and recreational fishers.
According to the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Mark Furner, this directions paper on fisheries reform was the next step to create a world-class fisheries management system under the Queensland Sustainable Fisheries Strategy.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to making these key fisheries sustainable for the future, profitable for the commercial sector and enjoyable for recreational fishing,” he said.
“There are few catch limits, poor fisheries compliance, high conflict between stakeholders and concerns about bycatch and protected species interactions,” he added.
The proposed reforms include:
• Splitting the trawl fishery into five regions;
• Allocating effort units (i.e. fishing nights) to those regions and setting regional effort caps; and
• Transitioning Moreton Bay trawl fishers to effort units similar to the rest of the trawl fleet.
• Individual quota on mud and blue swimmer crab;
• Mandatory bycatch reduction devices;
• Consider reducing the recreational in-possession limit for mud crabs to between six and 10 crabs;
• Consider recreational boat limits for black marketing priority species (e.g. mud crab); and
• Prohibit the use of lightweight crab pots that are easily lost in the environment.
East coast inshore fishery
• Individual quota on a number of species (for example, barramundi, king threadfin, grey mackerel, school mackerel and whiting) and total catch limits on others (for example, shark, tailor, bream, flathead, mullet);
• Mandatory bycatch reduction devices and establishing a best management practice program for netting;
• General possession limit of 20 for all species which don’t have a recreational in-possession limit (not including bait); and
• Consider recreational boat limits for black marketing priority species (e.g. barramundi, black jewfish, coral trout, Spanish mackerel).
Prawn Trawling vessel in Queensland. (Photo credit: Tim Huntington/Poseidon | fishconsult.org)
Minister Furner hightlighted that in the proposed reforms input from all sectors since the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy’s release in June 2017, have been taken into account.
The Queensland Government expects to implement the reforms through a revised Fisheries Regulation by September.