THERE are too many commercial fishermen in the state, according to recreational fisherman and central Queensland spokesman for the Queensland Recreational Fishing Network, Kim Martin.

For 30 years he has lobbied both sides of government to introduce net-free zones.

Net-free zones will lead to bigger, and more fish for recreational fishing, he says.

Mr Martin was at Wednesday's annual Infofish conference in Gladstone, where Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Bill Byrne said the introduction of net-free zones was "not a matter of debate".

He heard three weeks before the election the Labor Party planned to introduce the three zones.

"I had given up it would ever happen," Mr Martin said.

"We need to reform the commercial sector and stop living in the past."

There are 38 commercial licences registered in the Keppel Bay, Fitzroy region.

That's down from 45 last year; the drop potentially a result of the LNP government's $9 million buy-back scheme (between 2012-14, 74 commercial licences were bought back across the state).

FAST FACTS:

  • More than 70% of seafood consumed in Australia is imported
  • From 2000-2013 Australia's consumption of seafood increased by 3% and imports increased by 4%
  • 30% of Queensland's barramundi is caught in Keppel Bay/ Fitzroy
  • There are 38 commercial licences operating in Keppel Bay/ Fitzroy
  • The highest volume of fish in Keppel Bay/ Fitzroy are caught at the mouth of the Fitzroy River


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