VOTE NOW: Make Cooloola Coast new world-class fishing spot
GYMPIE region residents are being asked to have their say on proposed and future locations of fish attraction devices to create the next batch of world-class fishing spots when they are deployed this summer.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the Palaszczuk Government wants to install the devices, known as FADs, off the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.
“FADs are floating buoys that are tethered offshore to attract sports fish species like Mahi Mahi (dolphin fish), cobia and mackerel,” Mr Furner said.
“We’re investing $1 million in rolling out a series of FADs and we want Queenslanders to tell us the best spots to put them.”
Ten proposed locations have been identified following consultation with recreational fishing groups, relevant government agencies and commercial fishing groups.
“We are asking Queenslanders to provide feedback on the ten proposed locations and also identify any other potential locations we could consider when further expanding the program,” Mr Furner said.
“With a recent survey showing there are now almost one million recreational fishers in Queensland, we want to ensure we give them the best fishing experiences possible.
“The added benefit of making it more likely that you’ll hook one of these species is that it takes some of the pressure off snapper and pearl perch, which are currently overfished and stocks are very low.
“We will also be exploring opportunities with potential partners who may be interested in matching funding to roll out even more FADs in South East Queensland or more widely.”
Mr Furner said the first ten FADs were due to be installed by the end of the year.
“These are similar designs to the FADs that NSW Fisheries has installed along its East coast which attract large numbers of dolphin fish,“ he said.
“This summer, fishers will be able to hook a fish at one of our FADs, with the final locations to be widely promoted once they are deployed.
“We believe that this initiative will help to strengthen world-class recreational fishing in Queensland, while giving snapper and pearl perch an opportunity to rebuild stocks.
“By encouraging recreational fishers to target species other than snapper and pearl perch, we can ensure that our kids and grandkids will be able to enjoy fishing for these iconic Queensland species in future.“
A survey is available on https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FADs and on the Fisheries Queensland website (www.daf.qld.gov.au/fisheries) and closes 18 November 2019.