Snapper restrictions proposed for QLD

Fisheries Queensland has upset the state’s anglers by pointing to future restrictions on recreational snapper catches and the implementation of a closed season on the species.  

Fisheries Queensland’s “SOS: Save Our Snapper” campaign is, according to the department, about informing fishos about the current plight of QLD’s “overfished” snapper stock prior to the release of a consultation document that seeks feedback on potential changes to the Rocky Reef Fin Fish Fishery.

Fisheries Queensland staff are currently conducting talks with recfishos and handing out information about QLD’s snapper status at 28boat ramps across Queensland.

“We want to make fishers aware of the shortage and also what measures they can take to help save Queensland snapper,” Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland, Tim Mulherin said.

“Fishers are also being urged to help protect Queensland snapper by registering their details online with Fisheries Queensland and getting involved in future consultation.

“The first full Queensland Stock Status Report was released earlier this month and highlighted concerns about snapper shortages.

“In fact, snapper is the only species of Queensland’s 62 assessed stocks that is classified is overfished,” said Mulherin.

The possible implementing of reduced snapper bag limits and a closed season has angered Sunfish Queensland. The body is calling for more sensible management to protect the state’s snapper. In a released statement Sunfish Queensland had the following response: 

* Before more snapper restrictions are considered – assess the benefits of 2003 bag and size limits

* The only possible problem with snapper is a reduction of large/old fish in heavily used areas (Gold Coast)

* The future precautionary introduction of a limit of two snapper over 50cm could be considered in heavily fished areas, but the minimum size of 35cm and bag limit of 5 should be maintained.

* Commercials have no catch limits!

* No recent surveys of recreational catches have been done to assess the benefits of the 2003 restrictions on snapper catches.

* The snapper fishery is primarily a recreational line only fishery, subject to weather conditions.

* Marine Park zoning totally protects a large proportion of the snapper population.

* Seasonal closures for snapper fishing are NOT warranted and opposed by recreational fishers.

Sunfish says it has asked Minister Mulherin for an urgent independent scientific review of the Fisheries Queensland snapper assessment.

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