Snapper and pearl perch will become ‘no-take’ species in Queensland waters for one month starting 15 July (from midnight).
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Mark Furner said the new closure would apply to all fishers – commercial, charter and recreational.
“This seasonal closure is similar to spawning closures for barramundi and reef fin fish species, which have been critical to ensuring the sustainability of these fisheries,” Mr Furner said.
“During this closure, I encourage fishers to target other species and take advantage of the fish aggregating devices (FADs) that have been installed along the South East Queensland coast.
“We are taking this step because snapper and pearl perch stocks are depleted and we need to take the pressure off. To ensure there are fish for future, we need to take action now.”
The closure is part of the urgent management actions introduced in September 2019, which included:
- a total allowable commercial catch of 42 tonnes (snapper) and 15 tonnes (pearl perch);
- reduced recreational catch limits of pearl perch from five to four;
- an increase in pearl perch size limit from 35 to 38 cm for pearl perch;
- the removal of extended charter trip increased possession limits; and
- a recreational boat limit of 8 snapper, which is two times the individual possession limit.
Mr Furner said all sectors needed to do their part now to take the pressure of these stocks while further work was undertaken to develop a long term rebuilding strategy.
“If you do catch a snapper or pearl perch during the closure, it is important to handle the fish carefully, dehook it appropriately, and release it as soon as possible,” he said.
The closure ends at 11.59pm on 15 August with normal fishing rules applying after that time.