Net-free fishing zones to be implemented by year's end

THE Queensland Government will implement three net-free fishing zones, including a zone in the area from Yeppoon to Curtis Island, before the end of the year.

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Bill Byrne said the government had considered feedback from more than 6300 public submissions received during the consultation process, which included a conference in Gladstone.

"Ninety per cent of submissions were in favour of introducing net-free zones," Mr Byrne said.

"The net free zones will offer benefits in tourism and recreational fishing in Queensland and I am excited about the opportunities these zones will have directly on the communities along the boundaries."

Mr Byrne said the government understood the commercial fishing industry was concerned about the fisheries reform agenda, and in particular the introduction of net-free zones, but reform was an election commitment and the Queensland Government was committed to seeing it through.

As a result of all the feedback received throughout the consultation process, there have been some adjustments to the boundaries originally proposed.

The boundary for the Capricorn Coast zone has been altered to reduce the overall size of the area while still including the waters of Keppel Bay and the Fitzroy River.

The department is writing to each netting licence holder who worked on those licences about settlement and buyback schemes.

The final maps for the net-free areas are available at www.daf.qld.gov.au.  



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