Queensland cuts bag limits for snapper

By AAP and AG staff 27 June 2011
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Due to dwindling fish stocks, the Queensland government has reduced the recreational catch limits of snapper.

RECREATIONAL BAG LIMITS FOR snapper will be reduced and a maximum size restriction introduced under new Queensland government regulations.

Recreational anglers will only be able to catch four snapper, instead of five, and only one of the catch can exceed 70 centimetres, Fisheries Minister Craig Wallace said on Sunday. The remaining snapper must be within 35cm and 70cm.

The government has yet to name the starting date for the laws, which have been introduced to prevent snapper stocks from dwindling. However, commercial anglers have been spared any changes.

Concern about snapper stocks

The minister said the reduced bag limit was based on research and feedback from anglers and associated parties in regard to preserving and replenishing snapper stocks.

“We have done our own research and we talk to the people who fish every day of the week,” he said. “(We’ve been) talking to the people at boat ramps and (doing) telephone surveys.”

Recreational fishing lobby group Sunfish has indicated it accepts the new rules. Sunfish chairman Dr Barry Pollock said his preferred outcome was no change for the 50,000 anglers in southeast Queensland.

“It places firm restrictions on recreational fishing,” he said. “Our submission was five, but we can live with four. We are concerned about snapper stocks. We don’t have a lot of problems with commercial guys as long as the same restrictions apply for them.”

No further bans for recreational fishing

Early this year the government placed a six-week ban on recreational fishing for snapper after concerns about the drop in numbers. The minister said there would be no further bans or changes to snapper catch limits.

The opposition’s fisheries spokesman Mark Robinson said a ban should never have been put in place.