Black jewfish season opens

News release | 24-Dec-2021

Queensland’s East coast black jewfish fisheries will reopen, and the Gulf of Carpentaria’s catch limit for black jewfish will reset, on 1 January 2022 to commercial and recreational fishers.

Fisheries Queensland Principal Fishery Manager Tony Ham said fishers could target black jewfish until the regions’ Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) limit was reached.

“A 20 tonnes TACC limit, split across five management regions, exists for east coast black jewfish and a six tonnes TACC limit exists for Gulf of Carpentaria black jewfish whilst the recreational possession limit is one,” Mr Ham said.

“The TACC limits were set to help protect the species from overfishing and, once a limit has been reached, black jewfish will become a no-take species for all fishers until that fishery reopens on 1 January 2023.

“Fisheries Queensland will monitor the catch of black jewfish and notify commercial fishers by text and email once 75 per cent of a TACC has been caught, with all fishers notified once a catch limit has been reached.

“In 2021, the East coast fisheries black jewfish TACC limit was reached in March, whilst the Gulf of Carpentaria’s season has remained open as the TACC limit there was not reached.”

Mr Ham said fishers should be aware of these arrangements when fishing for black jewfish.

“Fishers should also know that the take or possession of any fish in Dalrymple Bay and Hay Point is prohibited to protect black jewfish stock in those areas,” Mr Ham said.

“Commercial fishers who catch and retain black jewfish and other jewfish species under a commercial fishing authority must correctly follow reporting requirements.

“Black jewfish, scaly jewfish, and mulloway must be kept whole while onboard a boat on the east coast.

“Fishers in the Gulf of Carpentaria must retain black jewfish and mulloway whole but can process scaly jewfish at sea.”

Mr Ham said significant penalties applied to fishers who break the rules relating to black jewfish.

“Black jewfish are vulnerable to overfishing and there is a risk of black-marketing due to the extremely high market prices for their swim bladders,” Mr Ham said.

“Any commercial or recreational fisher found to be in breach of fisheries regulations relating to black jewfish could face a maximum fine of $133,450.

“Additionally, any fisher found to be in possession of a commercial quantity of black jewfish with the intention of black marketing the fish may be subject to a maximum fine of $400,350 or three years’ imprisonment.”

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol relies on the support of the public to help protect the state’s valuable fisheries resources for future generations.

People who suspect illegal fishing activity should make a report to the 24 hour toll-free Fishwatch hotline which is 1800 017 116.

For more information on Queensland’s fishing seasons, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23 or download the free ‘Qld Fishing 2.0’ app from Apple and Google app stores.

Follow Fisheries Queensland on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@DAFQld).

Media contact: DAF Media, media@daf.qld.gov.au