Queensland´s snapper stock is considered overfished. As such, we need to make changes to fishing rules and practices to rebuild the snapper stock to a sustainable level. If you are concerned about snapper and would like to receive more information and be involved in consultation on future changes to the fishery - register your interest by subscribing to our updates.
Fisheries Queensland, based on the outcomes of recent stock assessments, has determined snapper as overfished. As a result, Fisheries Queensland is reviewing management arrangements for snapper and other fish in the Rocky Reef Fin Fish Fishery. A Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) has been released for public comment.
The RIS outlines options for managing this fishery in the future. As part of this RIS, all fishing rules for the Rocky Reef Fin Fish Fishery are under review to ensure the long-term sustainability of the state´s stock of snapper and other species. As such, a range of proposals affecting all fishing sectors are included in the RIS for public feedback.
Snapper closureIn addition to the review, an interim closure from 15 February to 31 March 2011 has been put in place until new fishing rules can be finalised.
The interim closure is an immediate action to reduce the fishing pressure on snapper.
The interim six-week closure will apply to all Queensland east coast waters. During this time, snapper will be off limits to all recreational, charter and commercial fishers and should not be targeted. To effectively reduce fishing pressure, the closure will also apply to the other main co-caught species of pearl perch and teraglin.
BackgroundTwo stock assessments were carried out by Fisheries Queensland - one in 2006 and the other in 2009. Based on the outcomes of the stock assessments Fisheries Queensland has determined that the snapper stock is less than 35% of its unfished levels. It is internationally recognised that fish stocks at 40% (or less) of their ´unfished levels´ are classed as ´overfished´. This means snapper in Queensland is being harvested at unsustainable levels.
Independent reviews of these assessments including the most recent review conducted by ABARE-BRS have supported the finding that snapper are likely overfished in Queensland.
While it is unlikely that snapper will be fished to the point where the stock collapses, significant ecological, economic and social impacts are likely if overfishing continues.
The options in the RIS have been developed by Fisheries Queensland taking into consideration advice from a Stakeholder Network Working Group which included representatives from the commercial, recreational and charter fishing sectors; tackle industry; and the seafood marketing sector.
Get involvedThe Rocky Reef Fin Fish Fishery consultation document and response form are available to download or by calling 13 25 23.
Feedback can be provided by completing the response form online at http://www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au. Alternatively, the RIS and response form can be downloaded (link to docs below). The response form can be returned by either email to: Rockyreef@deedi.qld.gov.au or post to: Rocky Reef Fin Fish Fishery Review, Fisheries Queensland, GPO Box 46, Brisbane, QLD 4001.
You are encouraged to attend one of the RIS information sessions to be held between the Gold Coast and Mackay. Dates, times and venues are outlined below: