Important changes were made to Queensland’s fisheries legislation in May 2014.
Coral reef fin fish and spanner crab fisheries declaration of quota
The Chief Executive must declare quotas in the coral reef fin fish and spanner crab fisheries. This will streamline the process by which changes to quotas in these fisheries are made as previously quotas in these fisheries have been stated in legislation.
The annual quota for Managed Area A of the Queensland spanner crab fishery is 1,777 tonnes for the 2014-15 quota year. This was determined following an analysis of the catch effort data from the fishery and by applying the established quota setting decision rules. This quota will be reviewed again prior to the commencement of the 2015-16 quota year.
An annual quota of 1,088 tonnes has been declared for coral trout in the coral reef fin fish fishery for the 2014-15 quota year. This quota was determined by applying quota setting decision rules, developed by a line working group, for coral trout quota. The decision rules were provided to industry for comment prior to their adoption. The adoption of a dynamic approach to quota setting in this fishery based on fishery performance, best available science and pre-determined goals and is consistent with the management of quota fisheries throughout the world.
Multiple ‘C1’ fishery symbols on a commercial fishing boat licence
Fisheries legislation now allows multiple ‘C1’ fishery symbols to be written on a single commercial fishing licence. Commercial crab fishers with two or more ‘C1’ fishery symbols written upon their licence will be able to use a maximum of 100 pots to take mud or blue swimmer crab while licences with one ‘C1’ will continue to use a maximum of 50 pots.
Coral reef fin fish fishery closure dates
The closure dates for the coral reef fin fish fishery for 2014 to 2018 are:
- 21 October 2014 to 25 October 2014
19 November 2014 to 23 November 2014
- 10 October 2015 to 14 October 2015
9 November 2015 to 13 November 2015
- 28 October 2016 to 1 November 2016
26 November 2016 to 30 November 2016
- 17 October 2017 to 21 October 2017
15 November 2017 to 19 November 2017
- 6 October 2018 to 10 October 2018
5 November 2018 to 9 November 2018
Commercial crayfish and rock lobster closures
The end date of the closure in the commercial crayfish and rock lobster fishery has been changed from 31 January to 31 December. Bringing forward the end date of the closure is expected to allow commercial fishers to take greater advantage of the higher prices which can be obtained for crayfish and rock lobster at the start of the year without threatening the sustainability of the resource.
Australian bass closures
A spawning closure applies to Australian bass between 1 June and 31 August each year, including in a number of impoundments where Australian bass are stocked for recreational fishing purposes and where they are unable to breed. To ensure that the spawning closure applies only to wild Australian bass, an amendment has been made to limit the current closure on the take of Australian bass to tidal waters only. This will allow recreational fishers to continue to fish for Australian bass in impoundments where they are stocked, without impacting upon the annual spawning of this species.
Closed areas adjacent to dams, barrages and weirs
Closures are in place adjacent to dams, barrages and weirs throughout Queensland to protect fish that congregate in these areas during their annual migration. Previously these closed areas have varied greatly from one area to another in size. Closure distances adjacent to most dams, barrages and weirs have now been standardised to be 100m upstream to 200m downstream of the structure. Where there are safety concerns at specific structures additional closure limits will still apply.