Spanish mackerel: BIA, AFTA making representations to Fisheries Queensland

Spanish mackerel. Image: Peter Zeroni

THE Boating Industry Association (BIA) says it is collaborating with the Australian Fishing Tackle Association (AFTA) regarding boat-based fishing and the catching of Spanish mackerel in Queensland.

Recently, Fisheries Queensland indicated the state’s Spanish mackerel biomass as “critically low“. In an email, the BIA noted that media reports about 300 tonnes per year of Spanish mackerel have been commercially fished since 2004.

The BIA says it will join with AFTA to raise concerns on recreational fishing for Spanish mackerel to Minister Furner – Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities – in Brisbane this week.

The BIA said it will advocate for the following:

  • The Department must share the long-term and relevant data that relates to this issue, and this should include catch quantities and what has been delivered in education and compliance to encourage behaviour change
  • Boating and fishing are a way of life for many Australians and that is certainly the case in Queensland
  • Qld has more than 940,000 boat driver licences and more than 260,000 registered boats, and significant number of these are used for fishing
  • Rather than any bans, there should be:
  1. A significant reduction of the commercial catch
  2. Consideration of reduced bag limits for recreational catch
  3. Significant, funding and sustained education campaign about sustainable fishing to both recreational and commercial fishers – with a focus on appropriate release technique
  4. Supporting and coordinated compliance campaign for both commercial and recreational fishers.

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