Coral reef spawning closure starts this week


Spawning closures in Qld coral reefs reduced to two five-day periods

Coral reef fish species off the Qld coast will be off limits from October 15-19 as the first spawning closure of the new regime comes into effect.

Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland, Tim Mulherin, said the closures were in place to protect fish during peak periods of spawning.

"Coral reef fin fish, in particular coral trout, are vulnerable at this time in their life cycle as the fish aggregate to spawn around the new moon," said Mulherin.

"The closures span the new moon in the key spawning months October and November.

"Historically, three nine-day closures were in place to protect the stocks. However, the latest research tells us that the fish stocks are healthy, allowing for the closures to be dropped down to two five-day periods."

Mulherin said the changes would continue to protect fish stocks while alleviating some of the pressure on industry and allow for fishing over the Christmas holidays.

"The change is great news for our commercial fisheries as well as our charter operators and recreational fishers, with the summer months being a popular time for casting a line," he said.

"In addition to the changes this year, dates for the next five years have also been set.

"We hope by setting these dates in advance, tourism operators and commercial fishers can benefit from being able to plan ahead in their businesses."

For more information, contact the Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries Business information centre on 13 25 23 or visit www.deedi.qld.gov.au.

 


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