Coral trout fishers have urged the Queensland authorities to cut the quota as they have never met their quota.
Queensland authorities and commercial fishers have locked horns over one of the state’s most lucrative fish stocks. According to commercial fishers in eight years since new management laws came into effect, they have never met their quota for coral trout. That has raised concerns about dwindling stocks and fishermen want the quota cut by 30 percent.
Dr Brigid Kerrigan, from Queensland Fisheries, is of a view that is not supported by industry or science. She said that there is no indications that the stock, which is the catches, the catch rates, independent surveys that have been done, that the stock has decimated. She also indicates that the catch rates for some indicator vessels throughout the fleet are recording good catches over the last three to four months.
She said that cuts of 30 per cent are too extreme as it would likely have very significant impacts on those fishing businesses that are operating well at the moment with the quota that they own. North Queensland fisherman Terry Must says this season has been one of the worst for coral trout fishers. He says authorities need to listen to those on the ground to prevent long-term damage to the industry.