Snapper Quota: No one happy, balance must be just right

No one is happy on the Snapper issue. Recreational fishers are mad, commercial fishers are mad as hell and the environmentalists aren’t happy either.

Sounds like the government got the balance just right.

Recreational fishers say they are the losers despite winning the “rights” to all of a 500 tonne increase in the total allowable catch in the country’s prized snapper fishery.

An increase in the minimum legal size from 27cm to 30cm and reduction in daily bag limit from nine to seven are the key rule changes for the troubled Snapper 1 fishery announced yesterday by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

Commercial fishers are aggrieved that they are denied a slice of the total catch increase; environmental groups say the decision does nothing to rebuild the fishery and the recreational sector say they are the only ones taking a cut. 

Commercial fishers are being targeted for wastage, which is about time. Many commenters mentioned in my posts on the issue of the sea covered with dead, dumped snapper.

Mr Guy said the recreational sector campaign had drawn attention to concerns of wastage and outlined wide-ranging measures to better monitor the commercial fleet.

They include a phased introduction of onboard cameras and observers to monitor the amount of juvenile fish (under 25cm) killed in nets, to be returned to the sea under the Quota Management System.

As I said, if no one is happy then the government probably got the balance right.

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