Fishing and crabbing in line for regulation changes



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New rules and regulations for fishing in Queensland could see changes made to bag limits for fish and crabs, fishing regions, and bycatch reduction measures.

The proposed new direction for reforming the state’s trawl, crab, and east coast inshore fishing rules were announced today by the state government.

The direction indicated by these reforms implies any new regulations based on these proposals would see tighter restrictions on fishing across the state.

The state government is aiming to finalise the new rules and regulations by September this year. 

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Mark Furner, said these new proposals are in line with stakeholder feedback.

“The overwhelming message from stakeholders to a number of reviews since 2014 is that fisheries management must change,” he said.

“Doing nothing is not an option when the current system is not working.

“There are few catch limits, poor fisheries compliance, high conflict between stakeholders, and concerns about bycatch and protected species interactions.”

Mr Furner said the aim of the changes to fishing regulations is to create sustainable marine life stocks for future generations.

“We all want our children and grandchildren to be able to enjoy a sustainable fishery, either for recreation or as an industry,” he said.

“There will be another opportunity for people to have their say when proposed regulatory amendments are released for feedback in April.”

The directions paper on fisheries reform is available online and you can read more about the Queensland Government's move to sustainable fishing on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website.

The proposed changes to fishing regulations in Queensland include: 

Trawl fishery

  • Splitting the trawl fishery into five regions;
  • Allocating effort units (i.e. fishing nights) to those regions and setting regional effort caps; and
  • Transitioning Moreton Bay trawl fishers to effort units similar to the rest of the trawl fleet.

Crab fishery

  • Individual quota on mud and blue swimmer crab;
  • Mandatory bycatch reduction devices;
  • Consider reducing the recreational in-possession limit for mud crabs to between six and 10 crabs;
  • Consider recreational boat limits for black marketing priority species (e.g. mud crab); and
  • Prohibit the use of lightweight crab pots that are easily lost in the environment.

East coast inshore fishery

  • Individual quota on a number of species and total catch limits on others
  • Mandatory bycatch reduction devices and establishing a best management practice program for netting;
  • General possession limit of 20 for all species which don’t have a recreational in-possession limit (not including bait); and
  • Consider recreational boat limits for black marketing priority species


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