26 September 2023

Fishers comply with mackerel shut-down

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The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has said it is delighted with the cooperation of fishers over the first Spanish mackerel protective closure.

Deputy Director-General, Fisheries and Forestry, Graeme Bolton said the first closure ran from 22 October to 12 November covering stocks in northern waters, with a second closure period that began on Monday (21 November).

“During this first closure period, the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol conducted more than 200 checks on commercial, recreational and charter fishing boats,” Mr Bolton said.

“We had no detections of non-compliance, while only a couple of warnings had to be made,” he said.

“The fact we did not have to issue a single infringement notice is a tremendous outcome and a testament to the willingness of fishers to work with us to ensure the sustainability of stocks.”

He said that by observing these brief closures, the Department could safeguard spawning aggregations, reduce fishing pressure and allow depleted stocks of this species to rebuild.

The current three-week closure applied to east coast waters north of 22˚S latitude, which was slightly north of Clairview near Stanage Bay. It will end on 12 December.

A similar southern closure will apply to east coast waters south of 22˚S latitude beginning in February next year.

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