We thank the Minister for supporting this change.
However, while we are talking about this subject, I would like to ask all fishing groups in Queensland to remind their members and friends that breaking the fishing regulations can carry heavy penalties. So always measure your fish and observe possession limits which do change occasionally - so be aware. (Eat your fish in the freezer regularly, do not let it build up.) . The law also states “possession of fish” so you can be prosecuted for excess fish or illegal fish regardless of the circumstances.
In Queensland it is illegal for recreational fishers to use your catch for any type of financial gain. You can give your fish away but remember you are responsible for the quality of this fish and any repercussions this act may cause. Giving away fish with any expectation of “reward” is also illegal as is “bartering” fish for services. You cannot raffle recreationally caught fish to raise funds for any reason. (This is legal in NSW for “Charities” but not in Qld.)
Thank you for your support and for participating in a wonderful healthy activity which can be fun for the whole family and provide one of the best meals you can eat.
Chair Sunfish Queensland Inc.
Recreational fishers have been supporting the current Sustainable Fisheries Strategy. They, like many others, including Fisheries Queensland believe that the current fisheries management protocols are many years past being overhauled. The current system is strongly based on an antiquated perception that there are never too many harvesters on the water. We now have a commercial fishing industry that has far too many operators that are using their licences only during spawning aggregations to top up their other incomes because there are too many of them to all have profitable fishing businesses.
What was expected was that a line wold be drawn in the sand and for each species the existing data would be used to calculate current catch share amongst all sectors: commercial, recreational, indigenous and conservation (theirs stay in the water?). If a species was then identified as in trouble everyone would take an equal hit based on their catch share.
However, in the last week it has become apparent that within Fisheries Queensland there is a separate personal agenda being driven very forcefully to reallocate a considerable portion of the existing recreational catch to the commercial sector before the starting gate has even opened. Small meetings have been held across the state where total possession limits of 3 mud crabs or 15 fish of a species have been very heavily pushed by Fisheries Qld staff. This contradicts the information put out by the department in the discussion papers.
Grassroots recreational fishers are so concerned that they will be breaking proposed rules in order to put a decent feed of fish on the table for their families that they presented a letter to the Premier’s office outlining their concerns. Given that this information has only been available for little more than a week, the turnout of more than 30 boats and at least 70 fishers on a weekday indicates just how distressed many of them are. I expect that this sentiment will only increase across the state in the weeks to come,
For further information please contact Martin Cowling on 0427 011 507
We support the vision, goals and areas of reform proposed but the greatest challenges will be resourcing, data, community acceptance and keeping the reform external to the election process.
Our commercial fisheries need to be overhauled so that they have less operators and they are redesigned to better operate in a consumer environment that has a strong focus on socially and environmentally sustainably caught seafood. This will help to ensure greater profitability within commercial fisheries for the operators and make the career of “commercial fisherman” a viable career choice.
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