Sunshine Coast residents are encouraged to have their say on the
future of the Rocky Reef Fin Fish Fishery, and in particular snapper, at
consultation meetings in Mooloolaba and Caloundra on 7 and 8 February
Fisheries Queensland Managing Director Jim Groves said the Sunshine Coast meetings were one of the first in a series of meetings to be held in key areas across Queensland.
"Snapper is considered overfished in Queensland and we need to take steps to protect fish stocks for the future," said Mr Groves.
"In managing this fishery we need to get the balance between the commercial, charter and recreational sectors right, which is why feedback from all sectors of the community is so important.
"At these meetings we want to discuss the four options that have been proposed to manage the Rocky Reef Fin Fish Fishery and the take of snapper.
"The proposals aim to cap the total annual catch of snapper to 400 tonne.
"We understand that a combination of rules need to be put in place for each sector to achieve this reduction in catch and the feedback from the consultation will allow us to effectively do this."
Mr Groves said three independent snapper stock assessments had indicated that snapper stocks were at less than 35 per cent of their unfished levels in Queensland.
"It is internationally recognised that fish stocks at 40 per cent or less of their unfished levels are classed as overfished," he said.
Other options put forward in the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) include:
* The introduction of individual catch limits (quotas) on commercial fishers and charter operators
* Improved education, catch recording and compliance by the recreational sector, paid for by a snapper permit for recreational fishers
* Closures to make snapper, and possibly other co-caught species such as pearl perch and teraglin, no take for certain periods for all or some sectors
* Changes to bag limits for charter and recreational fishers, and
* Limiting the take of the commercial snapper quota to line fishing gear.
Mr Groves said in addition to the review, an interim closure from 15 February to 31 March, 2011, had been put in place until new fishing rules could be finalised.
"The interim closure is an immediate action to reduce the fishing pressure on snapper," said Mr Groves.
"The interim six-week closure will apply to all Queensland east coast waters. During this time, snapper, pearl perch and teraglin will be off limits to all recreational, charter and commercial fishers and should not be targeted."
The RIS consultation document and response form is now available for download at www.fisheries.qld.gov.au
Consultation closes at 5pm, 8 April 2011.
Mooloolaba meeting details:
Date: 7 February, 2011
Venue: Landmark Resort -- Cnr Mooloolaba Esplanade and Burnett Street Mooloolaba
Caloundra meeting details:
Date: 8 February, 2011
Venue: The Events Centre -- 20 Minchinto Street, Caloundra
Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation
Have your say on snapper -- Sunshine Coast consultation meetings
Landmark Resort, Mooloolaba
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