Commercial fishers working on beaches this mullet season
News release | 23-Jun-2021
- Beach goers need to stay clear of commercial fishing boats currently launching and netting close to the shoreline.
- Every year, we receive calls about the size and location of nets close to the shoreline.
- Commercial fishing for mullet is permitted in tidal waters within 400 metres of land.
Gold Coast beach goers are reminded to stay clear of commercial fishing boats currently launching and netting close to the shoreline until the end of August as part of the annual mullet season.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) district manager Rob McDonald said commercial fishing for mullet was permitted in tidal waters within 400 metres of land.
“Commercial fishing along ocean beaches for mullet occurs from 1 April to 31 August,” Mr McDonald said.
“Every year, we receive calls about the size and location of nets close to the shoreline.
“Commercial fishing in the area is permitted with fishers using seine nets to catch sea mullet that annually migrate along the ocean beaches.
“These nets can appear to be sizeable, they are regulated by length, mesh size and drop.
“QBFP is regularly checking net sizes and lengths as well as operators’ licences, vessels and catch.
“Another concern people express is around by-catch and undersized catch, but this beach net fishery is a very selective operation and captures very few other species.”
Mr McDonald said it was an offence to interfere with a commercial fishing operation, and on-the-spot fines applied.
“For many the netting process is interesting to watch, but be aware when the orange flags are up, it means fishing is about to start,” he said.
“The beach becomes a very busy workplace with moving vehicles, and heavy loads of fish brought back to shore for sorting and beachgoers should keep a safe distance from the action.”
Sea mullet is a key commercial species monitored by Fisheries Queensland.
Information about the length, sex and age of fish being caught is collected and used to help monitor trends in the status of the sea mullet stock to ensure the sustainability of the fishery and to evaluate the effectiveness of fisheries management strategies.
For more information on sea mullet, visit fisheries.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.
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