New rules affecting tourists recreationally fishing in Queensland came into effect this week.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the changes were part of the Palaszczuk Government’s plan to protect fish for the future.
“Our state’s fisheries belong to all Queenslanders and it is our job to protect fish for the future,” Mr Furner said.
“Some of our fish stocks like scallops, snapper and pearl perch are at risk, with stock levels under the nationally recommended 20 per cent biomass level.
“If we do nothing now, we will have to take more drastic steps like they are proposing in South Australia with the closure of the snapper season for three years.
“Quite simply, if there are no fish, there is no fishing industry here in Queensland.
“Introducing catch limits for at risk species and continuing to crack down on illegal fishing will help us rebuild numbers.”
Mr Furner said almost 1 million Queenslanders went recreational fishing in the state last year.
“To ensure recreational fishers can continue to catch fish, we need to have sensible limits to protect fish for the future,” he said.
Changes for recreational fishers include:
Queensland Seafood Marketers Association President Marshall Betzel said the changes were just part of the overall strategic reforms that industry has been waiting for.
“The QSMA is hopeful these regulation changes will play an important part in providing not just a sustainable supply of seafood products to the consumer, but also create a long-term vision for growth in the Queensland seafood industry,” Mr Betzel said.
“We hope these reforms will help provide long term jobs growth in the industry as well was provide a better degree of certainty of supply for future generations of seafood consumers.”
Minister Furner said introducing the changes now meant we would continue to have Queensland fish on the table, protect thousands of jobs in both the commercial and recreational sectors and protect our marine ecosystem and the Great Barrier Reef.
“The Palaszczuk Government has comprehensively consulted over the past two years on these reforms,” Mr Furner said.
“There has been a lot of myths about these changes and what it means for fishing in Queensland.
“I encourage anyone who loves to fish to find out for themselves how the Palaszczuk government is protecting fish stocks for our children and grandchildren by visiting our website, fisheries.qld.gov.au”.