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.
As of 26 April 2019 changes to the Fisheries Regulation 2008 will take effect to protect the black jewfish. These changes include:
- introducing a Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) of 20 tonnes on the east coast and 6 tonne TACC for the Gulf of Carpentaria
- compulsory catch reporting prior to landing for commercial fishers
- introducing 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
- reducing the recreational in-possession limit from 2 to 1
To support these changes, new commercial fishing reporting requirements for black jewfish and jewfish unspecified will commence on 13 May 2019. 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.
Once the TACC has been reached, access to black jewfish will close for the remainder of the year (until 31 December).
To assist fishers to comply with these new fishing rules species identification and rule guides has been developed for commercial (PDF, 262.7KB) and recreational (PDF, 263.5KB) black jewfish fishers. A quick reporting 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).