New plan gives commercial fisheries a reel boost

by DEEDI 
Spanish Mackerel
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Queensland’s commercial fishing industry and Fisheries Queensland have finalised a plan to help build the profitability of the state’s reef line and Spanish mackerel fisheries.

Senior Industry Development Officer for Fisheries Queensland Tom Roberts said the reef line and Spanish mackerel fisheries extend from the Torres Strait north of Queensland down to the New South Wales border.

'Commercial operators in these fisheries are facing a number of challenges including access to infrastructure, labour shortages, marketing and promotion,' Mr Roberts said. 'Unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters, a high Australian dollar and increasing fuel costs can also have an impact.'

The focus of the development plan is strengthening the sector’s resilience and recovery.

'The plan will see the Queensland Government and the commercial fishing industry working together to keep these important fisheries healthy,' Mr Roberts said. 'It maps out joint actions to help industry overcome economic and sustainability challenges and ensure a quality catch for the long-term.

'These fisheries produce up to $50 million of product annually and supply some of our most popular seafood including coral trout, red throat emperor, tropical snappers and cods. It’s important to plan for the future of these fisheries together so we can maintain production for both the domestic and overseas markets,' he said.

The Queensland Government is committed to working with the Queensland Seafood Industry Association, Reef Line Council Inc and Queensland Seafood Marketers Association to implement these initiatives to support the commercial fishing sector.

This plan is the second industry development plan born out of Fisheries Queensland with the first focusing on Queensland’s trawl sector.

The Reef Line and Spanish Mackerel Industry Development Plan 2011-2014 is available at www.fisheries.qld.gov.au. Click on ‘Commercial fisheries’, then ‘Queensland’s commercial fisheries’, then ‘Line fisheries’ to view the plan.

Latest fisheries information is also available via Twitter – www.twitter.com/fisheriesQLD or find us on Facebook under Fisheries Queensland.
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