Second fishing closure looms
CORAL reef fin fish will be off limits from Monday next week during the second of two annual closures to protect them during spawning season.
The closure will start immediately after midnight on Monday and end immediately before midnight on Friday.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol District Manager Tony Loader said the closures are in place from the northern tip of Cape York to Bundaberg in the south.
Mr Loader said the coral reef fin fish closure applied to commercial and recreational fishers, while charter fishers who meet qualifying criteria can apply for an exemption.
“Fishers caught doing the wrong thing during the coral reef fin fish closure risk on-the-spot fines of $522 for recreational fishers or $1044 for commercial fishers, with a maximum penalty in excess of $130,000,” he said.
Mr Loader said it was important that fishers were aware of which species are affected by the closure and how to correctly identify them.
“Coral reef fin fish include cods and groupers, emperors, parrotfishes, sweetlips, wrasses, coral trout, fusiliers, surgeon fishes, tropical snappers and sea perches.
“A reef fish web guide is available online at www.fisheries.qld.gov.au and the Queensland Fishing smartphone app also includes species images to help with fish identification.”
October and November have been found to be the most effective months for closures to protect coral reef fin fish and the closure dates change slightly each year depending on moon phases.
For more information on Queensland’s closed fishing seasons, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23 or download the free Queensland Fishing app from Apple and Google app stores.