Thursday, February 29, 2024

Snapper ban winds up, limits reduced

BAG limits on snapper in QLD will be reduced from five to four from September 1, under new rules designed to manage the fishery. The move follows the completion of a six-week snapper ban in the state, with the government saying no future bans are planned.

“This move comes after the Minister consulted with the public across the State and representatives from the charter, commercial and recreational fishing sectors about how best to protect this important resource,” said acting Premier Paul Lucas.

“What they told us was in everyone’s interests to protect this species but it became clear that this could be achieved without blanket bans on fishing. We have to balance the need to protect this species, the jobs the fishing industry provides and the right for Queenslanders to chuck in a line.

“Under these regulations recreational fishers will be able to keep four snapper instead of five and only one of those four is permitted to be over 70cm. We are still committed to rebuilding snapper stocks but doing it in such a way that doesn’t threaten industry or the Queensland way of life.

“Fisheries Queensland will closely monitor the success of this program and we will know more about this species than ever before,” Lucas said.

QLD Fisheries Minister Craig Wallace also announced that he would form a new recreational fishing advisory group, including Sunfish and other recreational fishing groups, to advise him on fishing policy. The government will be looking for expressions of interest to join this group.

“Queenslanders have a passion for fishing and for the wonderful seafood that this State’s waters produce. However, we need to ensure that our fisheries are sustainable so our children and grandchildren can enjoy the same unique lifestyle,” Wallace said.

“In close consultation with fishers we have come up with sensible changes that protect some of the most popular commercial and recreational fish species in Queensland. As a keen angler myself, I personally oversaw the consultation process to ensure community views were heard at the highest levels of government.”

The Bligh Government announced last year that it was seeking public input on the management of fish species including snapper, pearl perch and teraglin. The public consultation finished in April this year and Wallace said he had carefully considered the 712 public submissions, industry feedback and scientific recommendations.

Changes include:

• No further bans on snapper fishing;
• Reducing the recreational bag limit for snapper from five to four, with a maximum of one fish with a total length over 70cm allowed. The minimum size limit for snapper will remain at 35cm. This will apply to all recreational anglers, including fishing from charter boats;
• There is no proposed change for the size and bag limits for pearl perch and teraglin;
• An online monitoring program will be introduced for recreational fishers to log snapper catch data, to ensure up-to-date and accurate information is available for future reviews. The program will be launched later this year;
• There also will be an education program to reduce snapper deaths through incorrect catch and release;
• Another review of fisheries management, including an updated snapper assessment, will be held in 2014

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