Thursday, 31 October 2013
Fishers are reminded that the statewide closure for Snapper fishing in South Australia will begin at midday tomorrow (1 November 2013).
Executive Director of PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture Professor Mehdi Doroudi said the annual closure was vital to ensure the sustainability of the Snapper fishery.
In 2013 the closure will run from 12 midday on Friday, 1 November through to 12 midday on Sunday, 15 December for all fishing sectors,” he said.
“This 15 day extension to the closure for all fishers, both commercial and recreational, is aimed at providing further protection to the resource.
“Snapper must not be targeted during the closure and any Snapper caught accidentally must be carefully and immediately returned to the water.”
Following the annual closure, five further smaller-scale spatial closures will be used within northern Spencer Gulf and Gulf St Vincent waters from 15 December 2013 to 31 January 2014.
“Snapper come together annually to spawn in South Australian waters between November and January, and these aggregations can be disturbed by fishing activities, which may affect their behaviour and ultimately impact on the success of this important reproductive period,” Professor Doroudi said.
“The extension to the Snapper closure and the upcoming additional spatial closures in key spawning aggregation areas have been put in place to minimise disturbance and to maximise opportunities for reproductive success.”
The closures, to aid the protection and recovery of local Snapper stocks, were announced earlier this year and follow an extensive review of Snapper management arrangements and statewide public consultation.
Information on the closures is also available from the new SA Recreational Fishing Guide smartphone app which can be downloaded from www.pir.sa.gov.au/recfishingapp or from the PIRSA website www.pir.sa.gov.au/fisheries.
“PIRSA has been mindful of the potential impacts of the closures, which are necessary to support a sustainable Snapper fishery, and have reduced the size of the spatial closures after consulting widely,” Professor Doroudi said.
“Snapper is a South Australian species prized by all fishing sectors that brings economic, social and tourism benefits to a number of coastal fishing communities.
“Throughout the consultation process there was clear support for the government to take further action to secure the long-term sustainability of this important species, and with this in mind the decision has been made to extend the closure and introduce spatial closures to give Snapper the best possible chance for recruitment success and recovery.
“After consideration was given to the importance of Snapper to all fishing sectors and coastal communities, we have ensured the right balance between our main priority of protecting Snapper spawning areas, and that of minimising potential economic and social impacts.
“Importantly, we are confident that local and visiting fishers will still be able to take advantage of abundant fishing opportunities that exist in our State and that ultimately these changes will secure the sustainability of our prized snapper stocks well into the future.”
PIRSA consulted widely on the development of the closures, with other major stakeholders including RecFish SA, the Surveyed Charter Boat Owners & Operators Association and local government involved throughout the process.