The South East commercial snapper fishery closed on Friday after 100% of the commercial snapper quota was successfully caught. This followed the early closure of the South East recreational snapper fishing season last month.
Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham said the strong demand for snapper demonstrated the critical importance of the State Government’s “tough” 2019 decision to close the snapper fishery to allow depleted populations to recover.
“Mismanagement and budget cuts to fisheries science by the former government resulted in continued erosion of snapper stocks in South Australia’s coastal waters,” he said. “Drastic action was needed to protect the fishery and enable snapper populations to rebuild so our children and grandchildren will be able to catch snapper.”
Minister Basham said very limited snapper fishing had been allowed in the South East where stocks were assessed as sustainable. “Ideal fishing conditions have resulted in strong catches of this iconic fish in both the recreational and commercial fishing sectors this year,” he said.
“Since the current snapper management arrangements were announced in 2019 we always indicated that fishing would cease once each of the sectors reached their allocated catches. “We have already closed the recreational snapper fishery after recreational fishers achieved their allocation in just five weeks.
“Our fisheries management decisions continue to be based on the best available scientific information and expert advice, in order to protect this iconic species. “We will continue to monitor stocks and set catch limits accordingly in the South East to ensure we can keep the balance right.”
Minister Basham said enthusiasts were still able to participate in snapper fishing over the Easter long weekend if they had booked an experience with charter boat operators in the South East. “The charter boat industry has managed their strictly limited fishing effort in a way that will enable families to have the pick of the southern waters for their snapper fishing tour,” Minister Basham said.
Visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/fishing/snapper for further information on the snapper management arrangements for all fishing sectors.