Second annual coral reef fin fish closure imminent

Published Thursday, 09 November, 2023 at 02:30 PM

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

  • The second of two annual coral reef fin fish closures runs between November 10 and 14
  • High rates of compliance with the rules were observed during last month’s closure
  • A list of impacted species can be found on the Qld Fishing 2.0 app and the Fisheries Queensland website

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) officers are asking fishers to start thinking about fishing for species other than coral reef fin fish as the second of two annual coral reef fin fish closures begins tomorrow, Friday 10 November.

The call follows the issuing of several compliance notices and fines by QBFP officers during the first closure period, which was in place from October 12-16.

QBFP patrol officers conducted 257 inspections in Coral Reef Fin Fish Waters during October’s closure and found 95 per cent of fishers inspected were doing the right thing, which is a great outcome for the fishery.

Unfortunately, eight Fisheries Infringement Notices totalling $619 and a further five caution notices were issued.

Commercial and recreational fishers are not to take or possess coral reef fin fish species for the five days to November 14, between the tip of Cape York, south to near Bundaberg (24°50’south).

The closure period aligns with the new moon, when coral reef fin fish species such as emperor, cod, and coral trout aggregate to spawn.

Closure dates through to 2028 are listed on the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website, so anglers can plan ahead.

A list of coral reef fin fish can be found under Possession Limits for Tidal Waters in the QLD Fishing 2.0 app, which has more than 100,000 users, or on the Fisheries Queensland website.

Affected species groups include:

  • Cod and grouper
  • Coral trout
  • Emperor
  • Fusilier
  • Parrotfish
  • Surgeonfish
  • Sweetlip
  • Tropical snapper and sea perch
  • Wrasse

Quotes attributable to the Minister, the Honourable Mark Furner MP:

“Closed seasons are vital for ensuring fish stocks remain plentiful, not only for Queensland’s valuable commercial fishing industry, but also for future recreational anglers to enjoy,” Mr Furner said.

“October and November have been shown scientifically to be the most effective months for closures to protect coral reef fin fish.

“I thank fishers for their efforts to follow the rules and I hope you enjoy your time on the water.”

Quotes attributable to a QBFP spokesperson:

“Most people are doing the right thing, and we want to get the word out to those anglers who may not be aware of the closure,” the spokesperson said.

“If you can just give these reef species a break for five short days, it can really help ensure fish stocks are sustainable for future generations.”


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