The Queensland Rocky Reef Fin Fish Fishery is predominantly a multi-species commercial, charter and recreational line fishery. Many of the species captured in the fishery are comprised of stocks that span the Queensland and New South Wales state border. In Queensland, the two main fished species, snapper and pearl perch, are overfished (see links in Methods section).
Fisheries Queensland, through the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy, has recently formed the Rocky Reef Working Group (WG) to provide advice on a range of matters, including management options that would rebuild these and other rocky reef fishery stocks towards long-term sustainability targets. The management options available to constrain recreational catch harvests to sustainable limits are particularly challenging. The WG have met twice to discuss and outline candidate management strategies for pearl perch and snapper (see working group communiques @www.daf.qld.gov.au). These include urgent short-term and long-term management options for the commercial, charter and recreational sectors accessing pearl perch and snapper stocks. Changes to bag and size limits, TACC (for commercial fishers), and spatial and/or temporal closures are potential management changes. However, it is difficult to assess the effect of these measures without a dedicated modelling tool, the primary output from the proposed research. The project will draw on and add to information from past research and stock assessment projects. The MSE modelling framework will be modern, quick, user-friendly and adaptable for more fish species as needed later (e.g. teraglin and grass emperor, or other fisheries). This work will support understanding on how to improve the sustainability of pearl perch and snapper in Queensland.
This research project will address the specific research priority "Management strategy evaluation for the sustainability of Queensland rocky reef finfish" as outlined in the FRDC's November 2108 Competitive Round Call for Expressions of Interest. This research is critical for the management of the rocky reef fishery and, as such, Fisheries Queensland resource managers are supportive of this work.