coral reef fin fish fishing closure 2019
Venus tuskfish. Photo: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

New moon brings second coral reef fin fish fishing closure for 2019

CORAL reef fin fish will be off-limits again from Sunday, November 24, 2019 when the second of two annual fin fish fishing closure periods commences to protect these fishing during spawning.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol District Manager Tony Loader said the five-day closure coincides with the new moon when key coral reef fish species aggregate to spawn.

“October and November have been found to be the most effective months for closures to protect coral reef fin fish,” Mr Loader said. “The closure starts immediately after midnight at the beginning of November 24 and ends immediately before midnight at the end of November 28.”

The coral reef fin fish closed season applies closures from the northern tip of Cape York to Bundaberg in the south (the southern boundary is at latitude 24º50’S).

The eastern boundary of the closure is similar to the eastern boundary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Mr Loader said the coral reef fin fish fishing closure applies to both commercial and recreational fishers.

“Coral reef fin fish include cods and groupers, emperors, parrotfishes, sweetlips, wrasses, coral trout, fusiliers, surgeonfishes, tropical snappers and sea perches,” he said. “It’s important fishers are aware of which species are affected by the closure and know how to correctly identify them. The ‘Qld Fishing’ smartphone app includes species images to help fishers identify fish listed as coral reef fin fish. Fishers caught doing the wrong thing during the coral reef fin fish closure risk on-the-spot fines of $533 for recreational fishers or $1067 for commercial fishers, with a maximum penalty in excess of $130,000.”

The closure dates change slightly each year depending on the new moon phases. For more information on Queensland’s closed fishing seasons, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23 or download the free ‘Qld Fishing’ app from Apple and Google app stores.

Follow Fisheries Queensland on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@FisheriesQld).

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