Management changes for Black Jewfish

The Queensland Government has implemented new management changes to protect black jewfish. There is serious concern about the sustainability of this species given the significant increases in catch over the last 12-18 months and evidence of significant black-marketing due to extremely high market prices for their swim bladders.

Black jewfish are vulnerable to overfishing and stock collapses have been previously seen in Australian and overseas. Management action was needed to protect this resource and its long-term economic viability.

The black jewfish fishery season reopened on 1 January 2020. A Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) of 20 tonnes on the east coast and 6 tonnes (TACC) for the Gulf of Carpentaria. If you catch and retain black jewfish:

  • the commercial fisher in charge of the operation must give a pre trip notice before commencing a commercial fishing trip
  • compulsory catch reporting prior to landing for commercial fishers
  • a requirement for black jewfish to be landed whole by all sectors to prevent processing of the fish at sea to remove the valuable swim bladders
  • once the TACC has been reached, Black jewfish will become a no-take species for both commercial and recreational fishers for the remainder of the quota season

Commercial fishers will be required to:

  • check the status of the black jewfish TACC before departing on a commercial fishing trip
  • report catch by logbooks and AIVR as outlined in the requirement to enable the    TACC to be monitored, including a minimum 1 hour’s prior report and a Weights Notice immediately when the jewfish is first removed from the boat.

In addition, as of 1 September 2019 it is prohibited to take or possess black jewfish in Dalrymple Bay and Hay Point. The closed waters are the waters within the following boundary, from:

  • latitude 21°14.430’ south, longitude 149°18.090’ east to latitude 21°14.520’ south, longitude 149°17.890’ east;
  • to latitude 21°16.210’ south, longitude 149°19.090’ east;
  • to latitude 21°16.320’ south, longitude 149°18.860’ east; and
  • to latitude 21°14.430’ south, longitude 149°18.090’ east.

To assist fishers to comply with these new fishing rules species identification and rule guides have been developed for commercial (PDF, 262.7KB) and recreational (PDF, 263.5KB) black jewfish fishers. A reporting quick guide for commercial fishers is also available.

Consultation on proposed management changes was undertaken for four weeks in November 2018 with more than 130 responses received. Feedback has been summarised in Results of consultation: proposed management changes to protect black jewfish (PDF, 768.9KB).