BUNDABERG recreational fishermen will need to change their habits, with new snapper bag limits coming into effect from tomorrow.

The new bag limits will see the numbers of snapper caught reduced from five to four a person, with a limit of one fish more than 70cm in length.

The minimum size will remain at 35cm.

Fisheries Minister Craig Wallace said there would be no future bans on catching snapper in Queensland, following a trial closure of the snapper fishery earlier this year.

Tackleworld Bundaberg employee Tim Mulhall said anglers would abide by the new rules, but some may not be happy about it.

“It is the lack of consultation that is always an issue,” he said.

“A lot of people want to know why.”

Mr Mulhall said despite claims snapper supplies were in decline, people were catching more snapper now than ever.

“We have had some of the best snapper seasons recently,” he said.

Mr Mulhall said there were also concerns there would be more dead fish in the ocean.

“If you have four fish at 40cm and then you catch a fifth one that is 75cm long, are you going to throw the big one back, or one of the dead ones?” he asked. “We already see it every so often now.”

Mr Wallace said the rule changes were part of a package of arrangements that included educating anglers on best practice handling techniques to reduce fatalities of fish when released.

He also said the bag limit of snapper included any previously caught fish people had in their possession.

“(The) limit refers to the total number of fish an individual can legally take and have in their possession at any one time – it does not apply on a per-day basis,” he said.

“This includes the fish you have caught previously that are in your freezer at home, camp site or in your caravan.”

Mr Wallace said a series of short, instructional YouTube videos were now available for recreational fishers to view.

“(They include) videos on correct fish handling techniques, how to measure fish correctly, and requirements for responsible crabbing in Queensland,” he said.

Snapper changes

4 fish allowed at any one time, with one fish more than 70cm long.

No further bans on snapper fishing.

No change for pearl perch and teraglin.

An online monitoring program to log snapper catch data.

Another review of fisheries management in 2014.



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