Snapper fishing in South Australia

Snapper is an iconic fish in South Australia and a primary target species for the commercial, recreational and charter boat fishing sectors.

The decline of Snapper stocks has been noted anecdotally by all three fishing sectors – recreational, commercial and charter – for a number of years and is supported by the latest science.

South Australia now faces a serious challenge in relation to the future management of Snapper in this state. Serious action will be required from all fishing sectors – commercial, recreational and charter – to achieve longer term improvement to return the Snapper fishery to sustainable stock levels.

As a result, tough decisions have been made to secure the long-term future of the Snapper fishery for all South Australian fishers, businesses and regional fishing communities. New management measures were implemented from 1 November 2019.

Snapper tags for recreational fishers

If you are a recreational fisher looking to target Snapper in the 2020 season, you must hold recreational fishing Snapper tags.

Without a Recreational Snapper tag you cannot fish for Snapper in South Australia. Tag recipients must be present at all times when fishing for Snapper, and all Snapper that are landed must be tagged.

Catching Snapper in the South East

Snapper fishing in the South East is open from 1 February to 31 October each year. A total allowable catch (TAC) for Snapper has been set across all sectors in the South East and is managed through a tag system for the charter boat and recreational sectors.

Find out more about catching Snapper in the South East.

Why the Snapper management measures have changed

A study released by the South Australian Research and Development Institute in June 2019 showed that over the past five years, Snapper biomass in the Spencer Gulf had reduced by an estimated 23% and biomass in Gulf St Vincent had reduced by an estimated 87%.

As a result, new management measures were introduced to achieve long-term improvement and return the Snapper fishery to sustainable stock levels.

Find out more about the 2019 Snapper management review and the new management measures.

Page Last Reviewed: 19 Jan 2020
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