Fisheries to reopen in the new year
COMMERCIAL and recreational fishers will soon be able to snap up black jewfish again as fisheries reopen.
Fishers on the east coast and Gulf of Carpentaria can target black jewfish again from January 1, 2021.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol North Coast district manager Brett Depper said fishers could target black jewfish until the species’ total allowable commercial catch limit was reached.
“A 20 tonnes TACC limit exists for east coast black jewfish and a six tonnes TACC limit exists for Gulf of Carpentaria black jewfish whilst the recreational possession limit is one,” Mr Depper said.
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“The TACC limit was set to help preserve the species from overfishing and, once the limit has been reached, black jewfish will become a no-take species for all fishers until the fishery reopens on 1 January 2022.
“Fisheries Queensland will monitor the catch of black jewfish and notify commercial fishers by text and email once 75 per cent of the TACC has been caught with all fishers notified once the catch limit has been reached.”
Mr Depper said fishers should be aware of these arrangements when fishing for black jewfish.
“Fishers should also know that the take or possession of any fish in Dalrymple Bay and Hay Point is prohibited to protect black jewfish stock in those areas,” Mr Depper said.
“Commercial fishers who catch and retain black jewfish and other jewfish species under a commercial fishing authority must correctly follow reporting requirements.
“Black jewfish, scaly jewfish, and mulloway must be kept whole while on-board a boat on the east coast.
“Fishers in the Gulf of Carpentaria must retain black jewfish and mulloway whole but can process scaly jewfish at sea.”
Mr Depper said significant penalties applied to fishers who broke the rules relating to black jewfish.
“Black jewfish are vulnerable to overfishing and there is a risk of black-marketing due to the extremely high market prices for their swim bladders,” Mr Depper said.
“Any commercial or recreational fisher found to be in breach of fisheries regulations relating to black jewfish could face a maximum fine of $133,450.
“Additionally, any fisher found to be in possession of a commercial quantity of black jewfish with the intention of black marketing the fish may be subject to a maximum fine of $400,350 or three years’ imprisonment.”
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol relies on the support of the public to help protect the state’s valuable fisheries resources for future generations.
People who suspect illegal fishing activity should make a report to the 24 hour toll-free Fishwatch hotline which is 1800 017 116.
For more information on Queensland’s fishing seasons, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23 or download the free ‘Qld Fishing 2.0’ app from Apple and Google app stores.