Fisheries reforms coming into effect

News release | 24-Aug-2021

A range of reforms to Queensland fisheries will soon take effect, which will clarify commercial fishing rules and reporting requirements for fishers while making the fisheries and the industry more sustainable.

Queensland Government

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Media Release

19 August 2021

Fisheries reforms coming into effect

A range of reforms to Queensland fisheries will soon take effect, which will clarify commercial fishing rules and reporting requirements for fishers while making the fisheries and the industry more sustainable.

Deputy Director-General Fisheries Queensland Graeme Bolton said there had been considerable input from fishery working groups, the Sustainable Fisheries Expert Panel and stakeholders in developing the new harvest strategies, which will guide management decisions going forward.

From 1 September 2021 new harvest strategies and rules will apply for the following fisheries, bringing the total number of fisheries in Queensland under harvest strategy management to 15:

  • blue swimmer crab
  • mud crab
  • coral
  • marine aquarium fish
  • east coast inshore (as well as a protected species management strategy)
  • sea cucumber
  • trawl fin fish (stout whiting)
  • northern, central, southern inshore, southern offshore and Moreton Bay trawl
  • tropical rock lobster.

Fisheries already under harvest strategy management are the Reef Line and Spanner Crab.


Details, including fact sheets, explaining fishing rules and reporting requirements that will apply from 1 September, are available at www.daf.qld.gov.au  


“Harvest strategies help us track the performance of the fishery over time to give an accurate picture of stock status, along with social and economic performance, to guide small regular adjustments to ensure long term ecological and economic sustainability,” Mr Bolton said.

“Underlying the harvest strategies is a program of improved monitoring and stock assessments to monitor the performance of our fisheries. This enables smaller and more regular management action to be taken when required. 

“There will also be a mix of new, revised or existing catch limits commencing with the new harvest strategies, minor legislative amendments to clarify fishing rules, and new reporting requirements. Combined with changes to recreational fishing that commenced in September 2019, these changes will help deliver sustainable, high-value fisheries and fishing experiences.”

Mr Bolton said the need for fisheries reform has been under discussion in Queensland since the MRAG Review in 2014.

“In 2016 the Queensland Government consulted on the Green Paper on Fisheries Reforms, where the overwhelming message was that all stakeholders wanted reform in the way we manage fisheries,” he said.

“Consultation began in 2018 on issues, objectives and options, followed by allocation approaches and regulatory changes in 2019.

“The Queensland Government has released three rounds of discussion papers, met with 340 stakeholders, held hundreds of telephone consultations and considered 2400 survey and long form submissions throughout the three-year consultation process. 

“It’s a difficult but important job to balance the expectations of all our stakeholders.  All feedback has been considered and adjustments have been made following each consultation phase. All these changes are to help ensure there will be fish for the future.”

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​​​​​​​ENDS

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