June 2011

Snapper Ban lifted by People Power

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Queensland anglers have had a major win, as the State Government have announced they will scrap a six week fishing ban on snapper, pearl perch and teraglin species next year.

The Queensland Government received heavy pressure from recreational fisherman, charter operators and commercial fisherman after the controversial six week ban was set in place in February this year without any notice or hard evidence showing snapper stocks had plummeted by 65 per cent since the 1940’s or that the proposed ban would effectively replenish fish stocks.

Fishing charters on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and far north would lose income as a result of the ban from a decrease in customer sales and the Government’s plan to tax anglers for catching snapper. Fishing on the Gold Coast has been hit hard with the natural disasters earlier in the year and a decline in tourism as a result of the strong Australian dollar. The snapper ban would just be another major blow. With the ban lifted next year, snapper fishing on the Gold Coast will remain active for anglers and tourists all year round.

Acting Premier Paul Lucas said the future of snapper could be ensured without imposing bans. The Premier stated, “We have to balance the need to protect this species, the jobs the fishing industry provides and the right for Queenslanders to chuck in a line. We are still committed to rebuilding snapper stocks, but doing it in such a way that doesn’t threaten industry or the Queensland way of life.”

A new sustainability plan is underway, which will be reviewed in three years.  Anglers can now take 4 snapper instead of 5 and only 1 can be more than 70cm. Also, a voluntary online monitoring program will commence and a new recreational fishing advisory group will be formed to advise the Government on fishing policy.

So let’s go fishing!