Ensuring a stronger Spanish mackerel fishery for the future

Published Friday, 08 July, 2022 at 12:20 PM

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities
The Honourable Mark Furner

Queensland’s Spanish mackerel fishery will not face a years-long total closure as part of efforts to rebuild stocks that have fallen to 17 percent of original levels.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said a complete closure of the fishery for a period of years had been ruled out because of the impact it would have on fishers, jobs and communities.

“Initial consultation resulted in more than 1400 submissions, mostly from recreational fishers, and the key message from this consultation is that the community wants action taken to rebuild these stocks for the future,” Mr Furner said.

“At the request of the commercial fishing industry, we held direct meetings with commercial fishers and charter fishing operators who are most likely to be affected by future management changes to rebuild this fishery.

“Consultation also occurred with representatives of the recreational sector and fishing tackle industry.

“We have now carefully assessed everybody’s input to develop more detailed rebuilding options, which are needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the fishery.”

Mr Furner said the Queensland Government is now seeking final feedback from recreational and commercial fishers on options for rebuilding our Spanish mackerel stocks.

Have your say at https://daf.engagementhub.com.au/spanish-mackerel-2022 . Consultation is open until Friday August 5.

Mr Furner said the final consultation would seek feedback on:

  • Reducing recreational and commercial catch limits;
  • Introducing closed seasons to protect spawning fish and reduce fishing pressure; and
  • Improving our data by requiring recreational fishers to report their Spanish mackerel catch.

Mr Furner asked stakeholders to consider the options carefully and identify which would work best for their circumstances. 

“No decision has been made but doing nothing is not an option,” he said.

“Spanish mackerel stocks are historically low, and if we don’t take steps to rebuild their stocks it could be the end of this important fishery.

“We know from implementing the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy that the community expect sustainable fisheries for the future to support a viable industry and support great fishing experiences in Queensland.

“They also expect sensible management changes and expect to be consulted. That’s why we are giving people a final opportunity to have their say.”

A final decision and announcement on management actions will be made following this next consultation period, with management actions expected to be implemented from October.


Media contact:         Ron Goodman           0427 781 920


The Spanish mackerel stock assessment and peer review of the stock assessment can be found here: https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/fisheries/monitoring-research/data/stock-assessment-program/spanish-mackerel-stock