SOUTHEAST Queensland fishers are set to reel in a bigger catch with the installation of fish-aggregation devices along the Sunshine and Gold Coasts and in Moreton Bay.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the devices, called FADs, were a floating buoy that gets tethered offshore and attracts fish.
“We’re investing $1 million in rolling out a series of FADs that will attract sportfish species including mahi mahi (dolphinfish), cobia and mackerel,“ Mr Furner said. “The added benefit of making it more likely you’ll hook one of these species is it takes some of the pressure off snapper and pearl perch, which are currently overfished and stocks are very low. Over the next year we’ll be developing a design and installation initiative for the FADs in consultation with stakeholders. A FAD monitoring and maintenance program will also be developed.”
Member for Lytton Joan Pease said enhancing the fishing experience in Moreton Bay was good for fishers and for local jobs.
“For many people fishing is an important part of the Bayside lifestyle, but it also drives more visitors to our region and that creates jobs,“ Ms Pease said. “This is a great initiative because it will enhance our reputation as a great place to drop in a line, and that means more jobs in businesses servicing those visitors. We are investing in jobs today and for the future, and delivering infrastructure for our state.”
Mr Furner said the State Government would also be exploring opportunities with potential partners who may be interested in matching funding to roll out even more FADs in southeast Queensland or more widely.
“NSW Fisheries has already demonstrated success with FADS installed along its east coast, which attract large numbers of dolphinfish,“ Mr Furner said. “We believe this initiative will help to strengthen world-class recreational fishing in Queensland while giving snapper and pearl perch an opportunity to rebuild stocks. By encouraging recreational fishers to target species other than snapper and pearl perch, we can ensure our kids and grandkids will be able to enjoy fishing for these iconic Queensland species in the future.”