Changes to Queensland's fisheries legislation

In June 2017, the Queensland Government released the Queensland Sustainable Fisheries Strategy 2017–2027 (the strategy) paving the way for a world-class fisheries management system for Queensland. To deliver upon the commitments made under the strategy, changes to Queensland’s fisheries legislation are required.

As a first step, the Queensland Government amended the Fisheries Act 1994 to:

  • modernise the objectives of the Fisheries Act and recognise the interests of key stakeholder groups
  • clarify the roles of the Fisheries Minister and the chief executive in the management of the state’s fisheries and to allow for more responsive decision-making through the use of harvest strategies
  • strengthen enforcement powers and penalties to address serious fisheries offences such as black-marketing
  • reduce complexity and remove redundant provisions.

The changes to the Fisheries Act took effect from 28 May 2019, including tougher penalties to combat black-marketing and a 20m shark control exclusion zone. A new-look Fisheries Regulation 2008 also took effect from 28 May 2019. There were no changes to the rules, just an updated structure, the East Coast Trawl Management Plan was incorporated, and parts of the Regulation were moved to declarations.

On 1 September 2019, new fishing regulations commenced that included further changes to the structure of fisheries legislation, along with some changes to recreational, charter and commercial fishing rules (PDF, 413.4KB). The Fisheries Regulation 2008 was replaced by two pieces of legislation – the Fisheries (General) Regulation 2019 and Fisheries (Commercial Fisheries) Regulation 2019. A number of amendments were also made to the Fisheries Declaration 2019.

Discussion paper and online survey

In March 2018, the Queensland Government released a discussion paper outlining the proposed changes to the Fisheries Act for public consultation. Public consultation on this discussion paper closed on 20 May 2018.

Download the Discussion paper: Proposed amendments to modernise the Fisheries Act 1994 (PDF, 670.0KB) and results of consultation report (PDF, 1.3MB).

The feedback received from Queenslanders in response to the discussion paper was considered by the Government in preparing the Fisheries (Sustainable Fisheries Strategy) Amendment Bill 2018, which was introduced in the Queensland Parliament for the first time on 4 September 2018.