South East commercial snapper fishery will close at midnight tonight (12.01 am Friday 2 April) after 100 per cent of the commercial snapper quota has been successfully caught.
This follows the early closure of the south east recreational snapper fishing season on 10 March.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the strong demand for snapper demonstrates the critical importance of the Marshall Liberal Government’s tough 2019 decision to close the snapper fishery to allow depleted populations to recover.
“Mismanagement and budget cuts to fisheries science by the former government resulted in continued erosion of snapper stocks in South Australia’s coastal waters,” Minister Basham said.
“Drastic action was needed to protect the fishery and enable snapper populations to rebuild so our children and grandchildren will be able to catch snapper.”
Minister Basham said very limited snapper fishing has been allowed in the South East where stocks are assessed as sustainable.
“Ideal fishing conditions have resulted in strong catches of this iconic fish in both the recreational and commercial fishing sectors this year,” Minister Basham said.
“Since the current snapper management arrangements were announced in 2019 we always indicated that fishing would cease once each of the sectors reached their allocated catches.
“We’ve already closed the recreational snapper fishery after recreational fishers achieved their allocation in just five weeks.
“Our fisheries management decisions continue to be based on the best available scientific information and expert advice, in order to protect this iconic species.
“We will continue to monitor stocks and set catch limits accordingly in the South East to ensure we can keep the balance right.”
Minister Basham said enthusiasts can still participate in snapper fishing over the Easter long weekend if they book an experience with charter boat operators in the South East.
“The charter boat industry have managed their strictly limited fishing effort in a way that will enable families to have the pick of the southern waters for their snapper fishing tour,” Minister Basham said.
“As we all know the COVID-19 has impacted on regional tourism over the past year so I encourage recreational fishers still wanting to hook some snapper over the long weekend to support these local businesses by booking a charter fishing tour.”
For further information on the snapper management arrangements for all fishing sectors visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/fishing/snapper