EXPLAINED: The reforms set to change fishing in Queensland
COMMERCIAL and recreational fishing ventures will be subject to sweeping reforms being proposed by the State Government to come into affect in September.
The reforms will be the next step towards a world-class management system under the Queensland Sustainable Fisheries Strategy according to Fisheries Minister Mark Furner who said the current trajectory of fishery management had been unsatisfactory and was in need of an overhaul.
"The overwhelming message from stakeholders to a number of reviews since 2014 is that fisheries management must change," Mr Furner said.
"Doing nothing is not an option when the current system is not working."
The commercial focus points mean the trawl fishing industry can expect to see the Queensland east coast broken down into five management regions, based on key target species.
Trawlers can also expect re-distribution ofquotas according to the proposed regions based on catch history and vessel tracking.
An individual quota system will be implemented for commercial ventures targeting priority species including barramundi, king threadfin, grey mackerel, school mackerel and whiting, which often become subject to the black market trade.
Reducing by-catch, which occurs in all sectors is also a focus of the proposal.
By-catch occurs when fish or other marine species are caught unintentionally while fishing for another targeted species and is common during commercial net fishing.
To combat this, fisheries will look to mandate by-catch reduction devices and establish a management practice program which could result in temporary closure of zones if triggers are reached for protected species.
The fisheries overhaul will also impact recreational anglers.
A 20 fish limit on all fish (bait fish excluded) that currently have no limits in place will be implemented.
Fisheries will also consider recreational boat limits for priority species however, charters will be excluded from these measures.
Changes to recreational and commercial mud and blue swimmer crab quotas are outlined in the proposal
A recreational boat limit for mud crabs will be considered.
Crabbers can expect abandoned crab pot clean ups and possible prohibition of lightweight crab pots.