Australian anglers will be banned from fishing for snapper for THREE YEARS – with heavy fines dished out for those who break the law
- Fishers will be banned from catching snapper in South Australia for three years
- The restrictions follow a report noting a huge decline in stocks of the species
- The price of snapper is expected to skyrocket from November due to the ban
Australians will be banned from fishing for snapper in South Australian waters for three years or face hefty fines for breaking the law.
The South Australian government will implement the ban from November 1 this year – with the measures expected to heavily impact both the professional and recreational fishing communities.
The ban follows a report noting an 87 per cent decrease in snapper stocks in the Gulf of St Vincent and a 23 per cent decrease in the Spencer Gulf in the last five years.
The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) report attributed the decrease in fish stocks to professional longliners who had caught thousands of tonnes of snapper for the Melbourne and Sydney fish markets in the last decade.
Australians will be banned from fishing for snapper in South Australian waters for three years or face hefty fines for breaking the law
In 2005 the reported annual catch of snapper in the gulf of St Vincent was 36 tonnes.
This figure had grown to a yearly total of 376 tonnes by 2015.
The ban will include all of the state’s waters except for a portion of the southeast coast where it will be allowed between February and October under strict conditions.
Once the restrictions are in force the price of snapper is expected to skyrocket as fishers compete in other waters such as New Zealand and Victoria.
South Australia’s charter boat industry has said such a closure would destroy their industry and many professional fishers targeting snapper would also collapse.
Professional fishers will have license fees reduced by half under a support package that will also see charter boat operators get funding to diversify their business.
The ban follows a report noting an 87 per cent decrease in snapper (pictured) stocks in the Gulf of St Vincent and a 23 per cent decrease in the Spencer Gulf in the last five years
Fisheries Minister Tim Whetstone said anglers should now turn their attention to other species such as yellowfin, whiting, salmon, mulloway, and leatherjackets.
‘The latest snapper stock assessment confirms snapper stocks in Gulf St Vincent have continued to decrease and have been reclassified as ‘depleting’.’ Mr Whetstone said.
‘The science also reconfirmed snapper stocks remain classified as ‘depleted’ in Spencer Gulf / West Coast.’
‘If the scientific evidence shows snapper stocks improve to an extent where sustainable fishing can be undertaken again before February 2023, the government will work with industry and fishery managers on how to safely re-open the fishery.’
Professional fishers will have license fees reduced by half under a support package that will also see charter boat operators get funding to diversify their business
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