A new study into under-size snapper caught in the Snapper 1 area shows encouraging results, but there is more work to be done.
The report found that commercial fishers caught 144 tonnes of undersized snapper in the Snapper 1 area – about 3% of the total commercial catch – in the year ending February 2015.
Inshore Fisheries Manager Steve Halley said the level of catch did not create a sustainability concern for the fishery, but there were benefits from reducing such mortality.
“Everyone who uses this important fishery has a responsibility of care. Industry and government are investing millions in the improvement of trawl gear, and have a “move on” rule when encountering small fish. The recreational sector is educating people on avoiding areas where small fish are found, using larger hooks, and being careful when releasing small fish.”
Understanding the impacts of catching and releasing undersize snapper is being considered by the SNA1 Strategy Group, which will release its report on the future management of snapper later this year.