News

Commercial fishers reeling from planned 'net-free zones'

Commercial fishers say proposed net-free zones for areas on the Queensland coast will cost jobs and remove fresh fish off the plates of locals.
Commercial fishers say proposed net-free zones for areas on the Queensland coast will cost jobs and remove fresh fish off the plates of locals. Mike Knott

COMMERCIAL fishers say proposed net-free zones for areas on the Queensland coast will cost jobs and remove fresh fish off the plates of locals.

Prior to the State Election, Labor committed to establishing three net-free fishing zones in Queensland at Cairns, Mackay and the Capricorn Coast.

Labor said the benefits of its fishing policy include adding about $150 million to the state's economy and would generate tourism-related activity with charter boat and recreational fishing.

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Bill Byrne said the government would implement the policy in a methodical and consultative way.

"This will include consultation with commercial fishers and the seafood industry prior to the zones being established," he said.

However, Bundaberg commercial fisher Paul Grunske said there had been no consultation with the commercial fishing industry and the industry he had been a part of for 35 years was being "shafted".

Mr Grunske said if the policy went ahead it could be disastrous for locals with supply of popular fish such as barramundi and king salmon, impacted.

"Commercial fishers will be out of a job because these guys derive 100% of their income from these areas," he said.

"They net fish and come to places like ours and it's distributed and sold into the seafood sector.

"We have 55 staff here and if our fish supply is reduced by about 50% then I am looking at reduction of at least 12 to 15 people."

Tackleworld Bundaberg manager Ben Shorten said that he thought the decision was about the government trying to keep the Greens happy.

"I think there should be some commercial fishing that carries on so that people who can't fish, can eat fresh local fish," he said

"They don't want to eat basa that comes from some sewerage pit in Vietnam.

"But we also have to have those areas be sustainable."

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt described the move as "madness" and urged residents to make their objection known to local state members.

Mr Pitt said the Federal Government's efforts to introduce mandatory country-of-origin food labelling could prove pointless if Australian consumers couldn't actually buy Australian seafood.

"By denying our commercial fishers access to local fishing grounds, the state Labor government will be forcing Queenslanders to eat imported fish," he said.

"That's why it's so important for consumers to support our local fishing businesses, by buying locally caught seafood."

Topics:  commercial fishers policy state govenment



Date nights under $50

ACCORDING to The Bachelor falling in love involves helicopter rides, private jets, shopping trips, and we mustn’t forget the hot tubs.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Insider’s guide to the best rooftop bars

Eleven Rooftop Bar is one to put on your hit list.

SEE the world from a different perspective...

Where to get your hands on the best wings

Try out these bad boys at Buffalo Bar.

IS THERE anything better than a wicked bowl of chicken wings? Nope.

GPs leaving Bundy for better pay ... an hour away

DOCTOR SHORTAGE: Gaye Howie, Melinda Dexter, Jareena Godugu and Hayley Brookes, outside the Family Practice Medical Centre, will lose their jobs if the clinic closes.

Clinic will close in a month due to bizarre system

Man admits stalking, assaulting, having sex with girl, 14

OBSESSED STALKER: The then-19-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim, spied on her at school before luring her to a park late at night and assaulting her.

Stalker had 30cm pig knife, zip ties, balaclava, lube in backpack

Investors eyeing off Bundy

REAL ESTATE: Real estate in Bundaberg is moving ahead.

Smaller Bundaberg properties proving a winner

Local Partners

MOVIE REVIEW: King Arthur - Legend of the Sword

Why the critics have got Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur all wrong.

Concert death toll revised up to 22, tour suspended

There have been multiple confirmed deaths after 'explosions' heard at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

"We saw blood on people when we got outside."

Casual Keanu says fame is ‘cool’

Keanu Reeves in a scene from the movie John Wick: Chapter 2.

NOBODY expected much of John Wick when it was released in 2014.

She's a really 'cool cow' - and she's a winner

Oakwood Zone Out with Lauren Kelly, Oakwood Black Sable with Paul Forman and 2017 Miss Gympie Showgirl Wendy Ward.

Bundy cow Oakwood Black Sable takes out top gong at Gympie Show.

Ariana Grande breaks her silence after fatal blast

According to reports quoting witnesses, a mass emergency evacuation was prompted after explosions were heard at the end of US singer Ariana Grande's concert in the arena.

The entertainment industry is in shock after attack on concert

Pitch Perfect star suing Woman’s Day over ‘liar’ articles

Actor Rebel Wilson outside court on Friday.

REBEL Wilson's career destroyed by grubby campaign, court hears.

Seven Year Switch: The boner to end all boners

Johnny’s outraged over claims he has a cracked boner.

She gulps. Her face says it all.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!