by GBRMPA Media
The Easter holiday period is traditionally a busy time out on the water and this year saw most people doing the right thing while enjoying all the fantastic benefits the Great Barrier Reef has to offer.
Reef peak period enjoyed by visitors
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority field management director Richard Quincey said he was pleased to see most people were sticking to the zoning rules and consequently investing in good catches into the future.
'Eleven offences for fishing in a Marine National Park (Green) Zone and three offences of entering a Scientific Research Zone or Preservation Zone are now being investigated,' he said.
'The few who don’t follow the zoning rules can have an adverse impact on their mates’ catches in the next few years.
'The zoning arrangements give fish the time and space to breed, so there’s fish to catch tomorrow and well into the future.
'Research shows that more and bigger fish live in Marine National Park (Green) Zones and that the offspring of these breeding fish spill-over into other areas. They’re basically re-stocking areas open to fishing.
'As these fish are generally bigger, it’s a great win-win — leave fish in green zones to breed and get bigger, and they will produce more fish for the future.
'What we saw over the Easter period was most people doing the right thing, effectively making sure they and their mates can continue to catch fish in the areas open to fishing.
'Almost 70 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef is open to recreational fishing, so there’s no shortage of areas where you can wet a line, from inshore spots along the coastline to offshore outer reefs. Just plan ahead and be sure of where you can go and what you can do before you head out.
'Fish stocks will continue to benefit long into the future as a result of fishers in the community following the zoning rules.'