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Debate Opens on Rocky Reef Fin Fish Fishery

QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA - Proposals for managing Queensland's Rocky Reef Fin Fish Fishery, which include key species such as snapper and pearl perch, are now available for public comment.

Fisheries resource manager Dr Brigid Kerrigan from the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) said the proposals focused on ensuring the future sustainability of these fish stocks while also ensuring fair access to the fishery for all sectors.

"Species such as snapper and pearl perch are highly sought after by the recreational and charter sectors and are also important to the commercial industry," Dr Kerrigan said.

"Queensland is experiencing rapid population growth, particularly in the South East region, and these fish can be caught in highly accessible fishing grounds that are close to densely populated areas.

"We need to ensure these types of impacts are considered when planning future management arrangements."

There are a number of proposals being put forward to manage this fishery, which include a review of size limits for snapper, a seasonal closure and improved catch reporting for all fishing sectors.

An options paper is now available to download from the DPI&F's website.

"The proposals have been developed by a Stakeholder Network Working Group, which included representatives from all fishing sectors and other fisheries stakeholder groups. DPI&F was a partner in this working group process," Dr Kerrigan said.

"The members on the working group have extensive knowledge of the fishery, contributing to an innovative and inclusive approach, which has aimed to capture the key issues from all stakeholders with an interest in this important fishery.

"Recreational fishers, key fishing industry, media and scientific representatives worked together in reviewing and developing improved management arrangements for this fishery. We are now asking for the wider community to provide feedback on the proposals."

Ellen Hardy

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