Fisheries Queensland has installed new fish attracting devices off the Fraser Coast in a program to support sustainable fishing and local jobs.
Member for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari said the latest phase of the FADs program includes three new FADs to create new off-shore recreational fishing spots off the Fraser Coast.
“Hervey Bay and the Fraser Coast are already known for world-class recreational fishing, and installation of these devices will add even more to that reputation,” Mr Tantari said.
“Recreational fishing contributes more than $35m in direct and indirect economic activity in the Wide Bay Burnett region, supporting jobs in our local economy.
“Spending by recreational fishers means more support for charter, equipment and bait businesses as well as local accommodation providers, and that means local jobs.
“Creating new fishing experiences with FADs make sense because it will give recreational fishers even more reason to visit and stay in our region.”
The new FADs will create more reasons for fishers to visit the region, growing jobs and contributing to Queensland’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.
Mr Tantari said the Palaszczuk Government’s investment in the FADs program would help to build a legacy of a sustainable fishery for our children and grandchildren.
“Fish attracting devices have been used extensively around the world for thousands of years and are designed to aggregate fish, particularly pelagic species, to make them easier to catch,” he said.
“By improving the fishing experience, the FADs encourage recreational fishers to target different species which reduces the fishing pressure on overfished stocks.
“The FADs initiative is helping to strengthen Queensland’s world-class recreational fishing experience while giving species like snapper and pearl perch an opportunity to rebuild.”
Three FADs have been installed off the Fraser Coast. One is approximately 31 nautical miles off Urangan, one is approximately eight nautical miles from Sandy Cape and another is approximately 11 nautical miles from Waddy Point.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the ongoing investment in the FADs program is important for Queensland fishing and tourism businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Enhanced local fishing brings people to the regions and creates the potential for economic growth and new jobs,” he said.
“Fish attracting devices provide a sustainable fishing option for fishers which helps ensure employment for fishing charter operators, tackle providers, boat builders and boat service centres.”
As part of the Queensland FADs program, 37 devices had previously been deployed off South East Queensland and four off Weipa.
These FADs have been used extensively by recreational and charter fishers with great catches of pelagic fish, particularly mahi mahi, reported from the FADs.
A comprehensive monitoring program is underway to gauge the success of the Queensland FADs program.