More than 70 per cent of sustainable snapper catch snapped up in South Australian south-east waters

South Coast commercial snapper fisherman is finding it tough to meet his quota of the elusive fish.
South Coast commercial snapper fisherman is finding it tough to meet his quota of the elusive fish.

Commercial fishers have snapped up more than 70 per cent of the season's South East total allowable commercial snapper catch, but the catch is not happening in south coast waters.

Almost 22,000 sustainably caught South East snapper have been enjoyed by seafood consumers so far this year, as 71.81 per cent of the commercial snapper catch has been caught since the South East season opened on February 1.

The season closes on October 31 and if the total allowable commercial catch is reached before this date, commercial fishing for snapper in the South East will be closed.

Commercial snapper fisherman based at Victor Harbor Rod Ness said it was very quiet in the south coast waters, but better results are recorded at Kingston and Robe.

"We have bin tags to catch 350 kilograms per day until our 80 tonne limit is met, but I would not have averaged five percent of that catch at this stage," Rod said.

However, Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the catch of snapper had been steady for the commercial sector.

"We are just over two-thirds of the way through the South East snapper season and two-thirds of the way through the catch, so this shows us the commercial sector catch levels are tracking well," Mr Basham said.

"We all remember late last year when the new SARDI Science indicated snapper numbers elsewhere in the state had fallen to dangerously low levels, and the Government implemented strict management in the South East to prevent overfishing there.

"I urge recreational fishers fishing for snapper in the South East to be aware of the requirement for snapper tags this year and the consequences if these rules are flouted, which can include a fine or even prosecution.

"All recreational snapper tags have now been allocated for the 2020 season, but you can enjoy fishing for snapper on one of the many charter boat experiences in the South East.

"The snapper tag system for recreational fishers was a trial for this year, and will be reviewed shortly by the Snapper Management Advisory Committee, which is chaired by Amanda Vanstone and includes a recreational fishing representative from the Minister's Recreational Fishing Advisory Council (MRFAC)."

For more details, go to www.pir.sa.gov.au/snapper

Comments