QUEENSLAND fishers are set to reel in a great catch with the installation of 10 new fish-attracting devices (FADs) off the southeast Queensland coast this week.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the FADs are floating buoys tethered offshore to attract fish. “We’re creating a world-class experience by investing $1 million in these structures that will attract sports fish species including Mahi Mahi (dolphin fish), cobia and mackerel,“ Mr Furner said. “The added benefit of making it more likely that you’ll hook one of these species is that it takes some of the pressure off snapper and pearl perch, which are currently overfished and stocks are very low. These FADs have been installed in 10 locations from Double Island Point to the Gold Coast this week by the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol from its vessel the KI Ross.
Mr Furner said almost one million Queenslanders had enjoyed recreational fishing at least once over the past year, making the sector an important driver of jobs and tourism.
“A few weeks ago we asked fishers to have their say on the proposed locations and suggestions for other places to install these FADs and 90 percent of respondents said they loved the idea,“ he said. “There has been an overwhelming response from the public to the program. We’ll take some of their suggestions for other locations for these structures to talk to potential partners who may be interested in matching funding to expand the program in southeast Queensland or more widely.
“We believe this initiative will help to strengthen world-class recreational fishing in Queensland, while giving snapper and pearl perch stocks an opportunity to rebuild. By encouraging recreational fishers to target species other than snapper and pearl perch, we can ensure a sustainable fishery for our children and grandchildren so they can enjoy fishing for these iconic Queensland species for years to come.”
Member for Sandgate Stirling Hinchliffe said fishing was an important part of the Queensland way of life. “My own community includes thousands of recreational fishers and it is great to see us creating more opportunities for them to enjoy fishing,” Mr Hinchliffe said. “It is important for local jobs in this community and in many others along the Queensland coast, from bait and tackle shops to accommodation and tourism operations.”
GPS locations of the FADs are available on the Department’s website at www.fisheries.qld.gov.au and will be promoted through Fisheries Queensland social media.
FADs are for the benefit and enjoyment of all and we remind people not to moor on the FADs and to be courteous to other people fishing in the area.