Queensland is a step closer to having a world-leading fisheries management system with the release of proposed reform options for several key fisheries.
Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said a range of options have been put forward in discussion papers for managing the trawl, crab and east coast inshore fisheries.
“A priority of the Queensland Government’s Sustainable Fisheries Strategy is to develop harvest strategies for these fisheries to ensure they are being managed to best practice standards, giving industry and the community certainty about their future,” Minister Furner said.
“The proposed reforms include things like splitting the management of some fisheries into regions, introducing quotas or limits on fishing days, improving fishing gear technology, reviewing fish size and possession limits and having temporary and flexible closures for fishing.
“The discussion papers have been developed with input from Queensland’s new fishery working groups which include stakeholders from commercial, recreational and charter fishing, conservationists and seafood marketers.”
Minister Furner said it was important to note that no decisions have been made about which reform options are preferred.
“Everyone with an interest in fishing is now invited to have their say and share their views on how these fisheries should be managed in the future,” Mr Furner said.
“Public feedback will then be given to the fishery working groups to provide advice on preferred reforms for review by the Sustainable Fisheries Expert Panel.”
The trawl fishery is Queensland’s largest commercial fishery, producing up to 6,100 tonnes of product worth $79.9 million each year and supports more than 400 fishers and seafood processors.
The East Coast Inshore Fishery is the State’s largest fishery by geographic size and also the most diverse, supporting a range of commercial, recreational, charter and Indigenous fishing.
Queensland’s crab fishery takes in the East Coast and the Gulf of Carpentaria, with mud crabs and blue swimmer crabs caught recreationally and commercially.
A discussion paper on reviewing management of the Coral Reef Fin Fish Fishery has also been released for public feedback. This includes options to provide fishers greater flexibility given the strong arrangements already in place through the quota system.