THE commercial snapper fishing season has closed early in the South East, following an also early closure of the recreational season, after 100 per cent of the snapper quota was successfully caught.
The recreational season closed on March 10, while the commercial season closed on April 1.
Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham said the strong demand for snapper demonstrated the critical importance of the SA government's tough 2019 decision to close the snapper fishery to allow depleted populations to recover.
He said it was important to allow snapper populations to rebuilt "so our children and grandchildren will be able to catch snapper".
Mr 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've 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."
Mr Basham said enthusiasts could still participate in snapper fishing a little later if they booked an experience with charter boat operators in the South East.
"The charter boat industry have 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," he said.
"As we all know the COVID-19 has impacted on regional tourism over the past year so I encourage recreational fishers still wanting to hook some snapper to support these local businesses by booking a charter fishing tour."
- Details: pir.sa.gov.au/fishing/snapper
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