Application 2010/018: A "Crystal Bowl" for Barramundi was submitted to the FRDC 2010 round. While the application was rejected the Board indicated it was sympathetic to the approach described and suggested further discussion with Recfishing Research in the development of any future application. It is proposed that a further application be developed for the FRDC 2011 round addressing the issues raised by the Board.
The "Crystal Bowl" concept will underpin any move to regional management which is dependent on fine scale data collection on Barramundi in the Fitzroy River system and remains pivotal to the further development of the concept.
Data collected will also be used as baseline data for two coal port developments proposed by Xstrata for the Fitzroy River. These proposals are in their early stages. One proposal at Balaclava Island at the mouth of the river could impact on Barramundi and Threadfin spawning grounds and the other to barge coal down the Fitzroy River will significantly disrupt fishing activities. Discussions are underway with consultants for Xstrata to establish a monitoring program however this is unlikely to commence until the project are approved.
The data required is commercial catch, recreational catch and recruitment. Also required are the environmental conditions including connectivity of wetland lagoons, river flows and rainfall.
Data on commercial catch is available from Fisheries Queensland. CapReef, a community based monitoring program, has collected data on recreational catch since 2007 and recruitment since 1999. A further application for the "Crystal Bowl" will not be submitted until November 2010 and if approved would not commence until around June 2011.