Legislative changes to the Queensland Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme and commercial fishing in freshwater from June 2016.
A review of legislative arrangements for managing freshwater fisheries resources in Queensland (under the Fisheries Act 1994 and the Fisheries Regulation 2008) was undertaken by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Key issues presented in a Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement released in late 2014 related to management arrangements for and potential to expand the Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme (SIPS) and a user-pays system for recreational anglers wishing to fish in designated stocked dams within Queensland. Public comment was also requested on issues related to the pricing structure of permits, disbursement of funds from SIPS and commercial fishing in freshwater.
As a result of the consultation a number of changes have been made to the SIPS. These include amendments to the Fisheries Regulation 2008 to expand the SIPS to include an additional 31 weirs and impoundments; fix the SIPS fee for five year periods; require all persons over the age of 18 to hold a permit when fishing on a SIPS waterway (other than fishing for crayfish); allow community stocking groups to use SIPS funds on approved recreational fishing enhancements on a SIPS waterway; and allow some SIPS revenue per annum to be made available to eligible groups for community engagement activities regarding freshwater fishing and fish stocking in Queensland.
A further amendment to the Fisheries Regulation 2008 to remove the capacity for new permits to be issued that allow for commercial fishing in freshwater areas.
A summary of consultation feedback can be seen in the Decision Regulatory Impact Statement.