Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
    The Honourable Mark Furner

    Rockhampton net-free fishing zone performing well

    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
    The Honourable Mark Furner

    Wednesday, March 13, 2019

    Rockhampton net-free fishing zone performing well

    There are promising signs for recreational fishing in the Rockhampton region in the latest report card on how Queensland’s net-free fishing zones are performing.

    Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said recreational fishers are increasingly happy with the net-free zone and in some cases are catching bigger fish.

    “The full benefits of the net-free zones introduced in November 2015 will take time to emerge, but we’re already seeing some positive changes,” Mr O’Rourke said.

    “Recreational fishers in the Rockhampton net-free zone are now harvesting bigger barred javelin and the barramundi they caught in 2016 and 2017 were also larger.”

    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the number of fish has not increased in the Mackay or Cairns net-free zones, but recreational fishers reported an increasing level of satisfaction.

    The report, Performance of Queensland’s net-free zones, also shows that more fishers are travelling to fish at Rockhampton and the number of trailers counted at boat ramps in all their zones has remained steady.

    Mr Furner said surveys were done at boat ramps and tackle shops from 2015-18 to assess: 

    • if fishing effort had increased;
    • whether important recreational fish species were larger and more commonly caught;
    • if fishers travelled further to fish the net-free zones; and
    • if recreational fishers’ satisfaction and expectations of fishing in the net-free zones had changed over time.

    “The net-free zones were a key initiative in Queensland’s commitment to the Reef2050 Plan and were introduced to increase recreational fishing opportunities in regional centres and support tourism and economic growth,” Mr Furner said.

    “To achieve flow-on benefits from the net-free zones, fishers need to be satisfied with their fishing trips and this depends on them catching more target species.

    Mr Furner said the effects of the net-free zones on recreational fishing catches will vary between regions, environmental factors such as floods and drought, and the reproductive and migratory capabilities of the targeted fish and their prey.

    “We are building a legacy of a sustainable fishery for our children and grandchildren,” Mr Furner said.

    “Fisheries Queensland will continue to monitor fishing in the net-free zones to measure recreational fisher satisfaction and the species, number and size of fish caught.”

    To download the report or for more information about Queensland’s net-free fishing zones, visit fisheries.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.

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

    ENDS

    Media contact:           Ron Goodman            0427 781 920