Spanish mackerel stocks in Queensland waters will be protected by the first ever annual northern fishing closure starting this weekend on Saturday 22 October
Graeme Bolton, Deputy Director-General, Fisheries and Forestry, said this closure would apply in waters north of 22˚S (slightly north of Clairview near Stanage Bay) for two three-week periods around the new moons in October and November each year.
“This will safeguard spawning aggregations and will run from 22 October 2022 to 12 November 2022, and 21 November to 12 December 2022,” Mr Bolton said.
“A similar southern closure will begin in February next year in southern waters.
“By reducing fishing pressure on this depleted stock, we will rebuild the population and help to ensure a sustainable fishery for generations to come.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol staff will be conducting compliance inspections of commercial, recreational and charter fishing activities to support implementation of the new rules.
“These closures follow extensive and lengthy consultation with fishery stakeholders earlier this year.
“Going forward, Spanish Mackerel stocks will be monitored annually through a combination of measures, including the most up to date catch and biological information.
The Spanish mackerel stock assessment and peer review of the stock assessment is available here: https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/fisheries/monitoring-research/data/stock-assessment-program/spanish-mackerel-stock