Fish species now off the menu for Coast anglers
Black jewfish will be off the menu for all fishers on the Fraser Coast after the commercial catch limit was reached.
Fisheries Queensland Director of Management and Reform Kimberly Foster said the 20-tonne limit for east coast black jewfish was fulfilled on March 8.
"Black jewfish is now a no-take species for commercial and recreational fishers in east coast waters until the fishery reopens on 1 January 2022," she said.
"I remind all fishers that the no-take applies to all east coast waters, while the key areas where black jewfish aggregate at Hay Point and the Dalrymple Bay coal terminal are closed to all fishing to protect the species".
"Fishing for black jewfish in the Gulf of Carpentaria remains open at this stage until a 6-tonne annual limit is reached."
Ms Foster said the Queensland Government took swift action in 2019 to prevent a collapse of black jewfish stocks.
"Black jewfish are vulnerable to overfishing and there is a risk of black-marketing due to the extremely high market prices for their swim bladders," she said.
"Any commercial or recreational fisher found in possession of black jewfish during the closure will be in breach of the Fisheries Act and could face a maximum fine of $133,450.
"Any fisher found in possession of commercial quantity of black jewfish, with the intention of black marketing the fish, may be subject to a maximum fine of $400,350 or three-years imprisonment."
Ms Foster thanked fishers and processors for their involvement in a Queensland Government research project to assess the population biology of black jewfish.