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Snapper Ban in South Australia: The Whole Picture

Mar 12, 2021 | 10 minute read Comments
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Reading Time: 10 minutes

In September, 2019, the Primary Industries and Regions Agency of South Australia (PIRSA) announced a three-year ban on fishing for Snapper, the state’s iconic fish species. The decision came after a recent stock assessment revealed that, in the last five years, Snapper stocks had become alarmingly endangered. 

smiling angler holding a Snapper on a fishing boat

Banning Snapper fishing caused quite a stir among local commercial fishers and charter guides. 

In action since November 2019, the ban completely outlawed fishing for Snapper on the West Coast, in Spencer Gulf, and Gulf St. Vincent. In the state’s South East region, a seasonal ban was set to prevent fishers from targeting Snapper from November to February, each year.

a map of the Snapper fishing closures in South Australia
Image source: PIRSA

Fishing for Snapper is a big deal in South Australia. For years, the prospect of catching this fish had anglers flocking to its coasts. As a prized delicacy, Snapper was a tremendous asset for the commercial fishery, as well. According to PIRSA, this fish alone was bringing an annual $5.2 million to South Australia.

The Snapper, however, was being loved into extinction. Over the last four years, Snapper populations in Spencer Gulf have dropped by 23%. In the Gulf of St. Vincent, they plummeted by a whopping 87%! Needless to say, the species had come into grave danger. 

The findings, originally published by the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), showed that if not regulated, Snapper fishing could inevitably wipe out the iconic fish altogether. With this unsettling thought in mind, PIRSA officials decided to close the fishery down.

Of course, local fishers knew that Snappers weren’t as abundant as they once were. In fact, they were the first ones to notice their decline. To most of them, the change in regulation didn’t come as much of a surprise. What was surprising, however, was how radical the change was. 

Snapper fishing was banned for three years. That’s a long time, especially for a local ‘mom and pop’ business dependent on the Snapper bite to put food on the table. Restaurants and fishing guides, tackle shops, and retailers were all about to take a big hit.

A Word on Snapper

Before we get into what the Snapper ban means for South Australia, let’s take a closer look at what makes this fish so special.

Snapper, aka Silver Seabream, are widely distributed coastal fish native to Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. These are long-living fish, capable of reaching 40 years of age throughout their range. Snapper can get decently large, too. Spawning males often reach 130 centimeters (50 inches) and 20 kilograms (44 pounds). Most commonly however, Snapper range between 5 and 10 kilos (11–22 pounds).

an australian snapper

Depending on how old they are, Snappers go by different names. Juvenile Snappers are called cocknies. Riggers is the name for smaller keepers, whereas the fully grown Snappers are known as squirefish. You can recognize these larger males by the distinct bony hump on their forehead.

As food, Snapper are one of the most coveted fish in all of Australia. Their lean, white meat boasts a delicious, mildly sweet flavour. They’re easy to cook, and can be prepared in a wide variety of dishes. Seafood restaurants throughout Australia offer Snapper as one of their prime delicacies.

Snapper inhabit a wide range of habitats, ranging from coastal estuaries, to reefs, and edges of the continental shelf. In South Australia, they live as three separate stocks. These are the Western Victorian (shared with Victoria), the Spencer Gulf, and the Gulf St. Vincent stocks.

The three stocks may be relatively close to one another, but in terms of sheer abundance, they couldn’t be further apart.

The Numbers

To complete the stock assessments, SARDI scientists used two data-gathering methods. The first, a ‘fishery-dependent’ method, included monitoring commercial fishing statistics, such as longline and handline catches. To get an even better picture of the Snapper stock, the scientists also monitored the age at which the fish were caught.

a school of Australian Snapper

As for the ‘fishery-independent’ data, the scientists looked at a measure called DEPM (daily egg production method) to determine the Snapper spawning biomass. Knowing the fecundity (the ability to produce eggs) of Snapper, the DEPM showed scientists exactly how large the spawning populations of Snapper actually were.

This is what they found.

Gulf St. Vincent

In 2014, the Gulf St. Vincent Snapper spawning biomass totaled 2,590 metric tons. Over the next four years, the number plummeted to 343 tonnes. That meant that the Snapper population had dropped by 87%! Looking at this figure alone, one could argue that the Snappers simply relocated to another spawning ground. However, combining the biomass data with the commercial catch information painted an eerily different picture. 

Adelaide and Gulf St. Vincent, South Australia
Gulf St. Vincent

In 2014, commercial fishers caught 389 tonnes of Snapper in Gulf St. Vincent. In 2018, they only managed to catch 157 tonnes. Combined, the two stats undeniably showed that the Snapper population was decreasing. With this new information in hand, SARDI officially flagged the Gulf St Vincent Snapper stock as ‘depleting‘. 

Spencer Gulf

Meanwhile, the 2013 Spencer Gulf Snapper spawning biomass equaled around 236 tonnes. Six years later, the spawning Snappers dwindled to just 192 tonnes. That was a 23% reduction. The numbers perhaps weren’t as dramatic as in Gulf St. Vincent, but they were worrisome all the same.

The commercial catch in Spencer Gulf was traditionally cyclical, with peaks in 1990, 2001, and 2007. However, since the 2007 catch, which equated 616 tonnes, commercial fishers saw a sudden drop in their catch totals. For the last 10 years, the annual commercial catches in Spencer Gulf barely broke the 70 t mark. 

Considering that the commercial catch had been low for more than a decade, and that the overall population had decreased, SARDI flagged the Spencer Gulf Snapper population as ‘depleted‘.

South East Region (Western Victorian Stock)

The Snappers of the South East region belong to a larger Western Victorian Snapper (WVS) stock. This regional population owes its numbers to the seasonal migrations of Snappers born in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria. Over the last decade, these Snappers were able to reproduce at a very high rate compared to the other two Snapper stocks.

But that’s not all. South East Region fishery traditionally produced small catches. In the last five years, commercial fishermen only took an average of 20 tonnes of Snapper per season. With good numbers of juvenile Snappers, and low fishing pressure, the fishery was in good shape.

smiling angler holding a Snapper on a fishing boat

As a result, the WVS Snappers are classified as ‘sustainable’.

The overall picture wasn’t good. Out of the three South Australian Snapper fisheries, two seemed to be heading to a very steep cliff. The fisheries were ‘screaming’ for a solution.

The Regulations

The SARDI research didn’t just show that the Snapper stocks were in trouble. It also pointed out how dramatically a fish population can change in just five years. Regulators thought that the only way to reverse the trend was to put forward a solution that was equally as dramatic. 

Christies Beach shoreline at sunset, South Australia
For South Australian fishers, a dramatic change was on the horizon.

In August 2019, PIRSA opened up two regulation proposals for public consultation. After reviewing close to 900 submissions from local commercial, charter, and recreational fishing groups, PIRSA drafted the new rules.

By September, the new South Australia Snapper fishing regulations were official:

  • From 1 November 2019 to 31 January 2023, Snapper fishing is banned in the West Coast, Spencer Gulf, and Gulf St. Vincent regions; 
  • During the closures, catch-and-release fishing is strictly forbidden. A $315 on-the-spot fine or, if prosecuted, a maximum penalty of $20,000 may apply. 
  • From 1 November to 31 January each year, Snapper fishing is banned in the waters of the South East region; 
  • For the remainder of the year,  a total allowable catch (TAC) will be set and shared between the commercial, recreational, and charter fishing sectors. If the TAC is reached, the fishery will be closed.

A Tough Pill to Swallow

As expected, the new regulations caused a huge wave of discontent from local fishing associations. Across the Yorke and Eyre peninsulas, people were voicing their frustration. And who could blame them: their primary source of income was about to become off limits. It wasn’t just the anglers, either. Seafood processors, retailers and consumers, restaurants, and bait-and-tackle shop owners – the list of unhappy individuals and organizations went on and on.

Coastal Australia’s local councils did agree that Snapper populations needed stricter rules. However, they were also disgruntled with the neglect of the economic problems the new regulations would cause. 

One of the opposing local councils was the Yorke Peninsula Council. While agreeing that Snapper populations needed tighter regulation, the council felt like the proposed solutions would have devastating consequences to local tourism. They and many others recommended a shorter closure, a reduction in bag limit, or a longer seasonal closure in specific areas.

Seafood retailers, like the Angelakis Bros. have said that they will now need to look to import Snapper from places like Western Australia, Victoria, and even New Zealand. According to people in the tourism industry, there’s no telling what importing Snapper will do to South Australia’s reputation as a prime seafood destination. More importantly, however, importing Snapper will likely cause its prices to skyrocket. 

lots of australian snapper stacked next to each other
Snapper is one of South Australia’s favourite table fish.

And then there are those who distrust the new Snapper findings completely. Many commercial fishers and charter guides contend that the recent findings are incorrect, and that they’re only taking the last 10 years of Snapper data into account. These fishermen claim that, prior to 2010, Snapper fishing was pretty much on the same baseline as it is today. For this reason, they are pretty much unanimous in their requests for more research.

Easing the Pain

Under the 2007 Fisheries Management Act, PIRSA had the authority to give conservation efforts full precedence over social and economic impacts. Thankfully, they realised that the new regulations would create dramatic consequences, both socially and economically.

According to Sean Sloan, Executive Director at PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture, the agency has already introduced a wide range of support and education measures for those impacted by the Snapper closures.

These measures include a 50% reduction to the Marine Scalefish Fishery licence fees, which will be at a cost of $3 million.’

And while a 50% discount on licence fees will certainly help commercial fishers, it doesn’t really solve the issue of how charter fishing guides will get any bookings. To that end, the government will help introduce several additional measures.

fishing charter boat in South Australia
Charter operators will need to find a way to stay in business.

Mr. Sloan explains, ‘We’re conscious that the restrictions will impact the charter fishing industry. For this reason, The Regional Growth Fund will provide a $500,000 grant scheme so that Charter boat Fishery licence holders can improve their businesses and tourism offer.’ 

Under the grant scheme, local charter operators will be able to seek grants anywhere from $2,000 up to $25,000. There will be a minimum 50:50 project funding contribution requirement. Charter operators will be able to apply for projects such as: 

  • Improvements to boat amenities (e.g. fridge, catering equipment, seating)
  • Improvements in boat accessibility (e.g. disability, elderly)
  • Marketing, promotions, and booking management systems 
  • To purchase equipment that will deliver new customer experiences 
  • Upgrade of boat survey and associated boat alterations 
  • Boat alterations to support tag-and-release science work 
  • Boat alterations to support new customer experiences 
  • Business strategies to plan for diversification

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

As bad as things seemed when PIRSA first announced the closures, hearing about all the support measures brought some much needed hope to South Australia’s commercial and charter fishers. However, all the hope in the world would mean little if seafood consumers and recreational anglers weren’t willing to make a big shift. 

Shifting Focus

The majority of South Australia’s recreational anglers come from out of state. With their favourite species now off the table, they might look to cast their lines elsewhere. Or they could choose to shift their entire focus to another fish. The question is, how to keep anglers fishing, while avoiding the same scenario for another species? 

The answer, according to science, lies in diversification. 

Based on earlier SARDI stock assessments, South Australian fishers have traditionally focused on a few select species. Apart from Snapper, these included King George Whiting, Garfish, and Southern Calamari.

The thing is, South Australia is so abundant with fish, that recreational fishers and consumers don’t really need to have such a narrow focus. There’s so much more to catch in these waters.

Captain John Tiller aboard Keen As Fish, SA Fishing Charters in Marion Bay, agrees: ‘I think that, instead of turning people off from fishing in our state, we should focus on all the other species on offer in South Australia.’ 

Captain John is hopeful that people will still come to South Australia to fish. An offshore specialist, John will continue to target species like Kingfish, Samson fish, Tuna, and Sharks.

a smiling angler holding a Samson fish on a fishing charter in South Australia
Samson Fish is a great offshore catch!

For anglers who don’t necessarily want to fish offshore, South Australia still has plenty of alternatives to offer. According to PIRSA, the best choices include: Snook, Sweep, Australian Herring (Tommies), Leatherjackets, Yellowtail, and Western Australian Salmon.

Lastly, in the South East region, where Snapper fishing will still be seasonally available, PIRSA will be introducing educational materials with local fishing organizations and tourist offices. The Recreational Fishing Guide App will get a revamp, so that anglers can access all the education materials online. The app will also feature the latest weather and regulation updates.

The Outlook

The South Australian Snapper ban will likely completely change the face of fishing in the state. Over the next three years, recreational anglers, commercial fishers, and charter guides will all need to drastically change the way they catch fish. Seafood consumers, hotels, and restaurants will also need to adapt to the new rules.

The shift won’t be an easy one, especially for small businesses that depended on Snapper to make a profit. Thankfully, South Australia is uniquely suited for such a change. With waters abundant in a myriad of other species, and no shortage of willing anglers, fishing will be able to thrive.

If there’s one thing we know, it’s that a fishery can change a lot in a few years. Let’s hope that this time, the change is a positive one.

a view of the coast and sea from Yorke Peninsula in South Australia

What are your thoughts on the South Australia Snapper ban? Do you think that closing the fishery down for three years was a good idea? Let us know in the comments below.

Comments (27)
  • dennis longstaff

    Dec 5, 2022

    i was told today 5/12/2022 that the snapper fishery will be closed for a further two years. the information and statistics brought forward by pirsa in 2019 apparently
    all incorrect information, and the latest snapper stock stats is no better than the original, but they will not admit to this so the easy way out is to keep it closed.
    they should be taken to court.

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      Daniel

      Dec 17, 2022

      I find myself perplexed once again from comments I can only imagine come from the long lining industry.
      You r right that the 2022 stock report was worse than the 2019 report which demonstrates the greed involved.
      It was clearly signalled in 2019 that the stock was in grave danger and big trouble but those long lines still went out until the last day mopping up the last of the breeding stock.
      Commercials have become to efficient at targeting and decimating the breeding stock and they can’t return.
      If you actually read the reports a simpleton like me can see it’ll take ten years to regroup and 20 to recover to pre 2010 stocking.
      Just my opinion the pros cannot return, ever.

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      Martin Morris

      Dec 20, 2022

      How easy it is to simply blame the recreational angler. The main reason snapper numbers are down is because there nothing for them to feed on in both gulfs. Both gulfs are regularly dragged dry by prawn trawlers and tuna farmers take thousands of ton of pilchards to feed the farms. Yes recreational anglers do impact on stock numbers but we should not have to shoulder all the blame and make all the sacrifices.

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  • Peter

    Sep 20, 2022

    Look to say the least its friggin bullshit,,,,,,, I thought the 3 year closure ban was a bit much to swallow,,,i think that they need to stop the charter boats operator’s from catching snapper all to gether ban them ,,,they are they are the bloody blame,,,,,, and not us recreational fishing people ,,,,,,,,I’ve never been so lucky enough to have caught a snapper yet it’s not fair,,,,,,,they need to make the snapper grounds a no go zone ,,,or marine parks if you will,, the ,,,,,,Ano Bay,,,,, area is a good example ,cowl, port Neill, I would start there first those Wreck’s in that area should be a no go zone,,,,,,,,
    I’M NOT IMPRESSED WITH THIS BULLSHIT BAN THIS AND BAN THAT ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,US RECREATIONAL ,,,,,, FISHING PEOPLE NEED TO STICK TOGETHEER !,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,COME YOU GUY’S,,,,,,,,,,

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  • Bill

    Mar 6, 2022

    Look closely at the figures and you have to agree with those who say that more research must be done. The figures themselves are a strong indication that there were errors made in the data capture process. In Gulf St Vincent in 2014 the spawning biomass totaled 2,590 metric tons. With commercial fishers taking less than 400 metris tons per year, the spawning biomass dropped to 343 tonnes over the next 4 years. Those figures do not add up. The stock should have been booming unless recreational fishers are taking thousands of tonnes each year. This whole thing has been based on obviously bad data.

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      Andriana

      Mar 7, 2022

      Hello Bill,

      Thank you for your comment. All the data you see in the article comes directly from the official fishery assessment report by the South Australian Research and Development Institute. You can find all the information related to Gulf St. Vincent on page 9 of the report, including the numbers you can see in the article.

      I hope this helps, Bill.

      All the best!

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      Daniel

      Nov 20, 2022

      Mate really?

      Snapper have a slow growth rate

      Commercials taking max 30,000 tonnes per year from Gulf st Vincent up to 2010 then sudden jump ten fold to 300,000 tonnes per year.

      Previous to 2010 they destroyed the Spencer Gulf snapper population and fishery.

      Spawning biomass in Gulf St Vincent 2590 metric tonnes in 2014 ( your words)

      As you say 400,000 tonnes taken annually more than ever taken from the gulf before 2010 max was 30,000 tonnes.

      Five years later with your figures 5×400,000. =2,000,000 tonnes of fish taken from the fishery or as you say 2000 metric tonnes.

      Mate really? Adds up and is so obvious it is disgustingly obvious.

      First the commercials destroyed the Spencer Gulf snapper stocks then moved to Gulf St Vincent. The fisher has had a nearly 20 year onslaught and been completely decimated by commercial fishing.

      Spencer Gulf was destroyed first Gulf St Vincent was showing the exact same demise and time frame.

      Commercials completely decimated the snapper stocks in Gulf St Vincent since 2010

      Up to 2010 commercials only took 30,000 tonnes per year max that was sustainable then but they got greedy and ruined it for everyone.

      The biggest takers did the damage and they can’t return to post 2010 take. The destruction has been recorded and is easy to see as such if you’ll be honest about it.

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      Daniel

      Dec 5, 2022

      I must admit I got emotional when responding to this post.
      It’s just so frustrating when you read the reports put out by PIRSA especially the 2019 and 2020 and also experience fishing for snapper in 2010,11,12,13,14,15 and so on and a pro moving in on your fishing ground, Tapleys shoals.
      The snapper were huge and a lot of fun and the excitement of hooking and landing a big snapper and watch it swim away was the best, obviously keeping a few for a feed. This pro moved in on the grounds and was filling orange bins full of snapper the bins were huge and then that spot went dead, dead as a door nail. A spot you could always catch a snapper turned into an area you couldn’t even catch a single fish. A once productive fishing area for all was decimated by a professional fisherman and pulling up his abandoned snagged long line in the anchor just the reminisce of the onslaught that once was.
      Seeing this fist hand, the operation and experiencing what it did to the ground it’s very clear to me what happened to our gulf. From 2010 the professional fisherman started unsustainably fishing our gulf and destroyed the snapper population and this is clearly illustrated in the catch reports of the 2019 report. What’s more distressing is the latest report 2022 suggests that they went for broke at the end knowing the snapper were vulnerable decimating the last of the breeding stock. Unfortunately with the low IQ I have I can see this and I’m sure there are numerous smarter people than me out there looking at this, it’s obvious that greed was involved and still is. From what I can see with the slow growth rate of snapper and this latest report it’s going to take 10 years for recovery and another 5-10 years to get back to pre 2010 stocking if the pros are completely removed and once that happens the take should be restricted to pre 2010 as they clearly was sustainable. It’s very clear to everyone the professionals fished unsustainably and can’t return, compensate them fairly for current and future losses and buy back the snapper fishery for the recreational fishers. Where is the money going to come from? Who is going to pay? I’m glad you asked the recreational fishers through a fishing licence that’s the only way to secure the stock to buy it outright. Fishing is way to important to the community to destroy it over greed, Victoria I hate to say it have it right maybe not all things but definitely removing the professionals over there greatly improved the fishery.
      I don’t have all the answers just some ideas and possible solutions.
      I think if the professional fishermen were fairly compensated and the recreational fishermen could get back to fishing all the businesses and the tourists industry etc would thrive just saying. So many people enjoy the sea and fishing and catching a feed for their family let’s not destroy it over greed. Let’s realise that the experience of catching your own fish to eat is more valuable to the community as a whole. No one wins with a depleted fishery where no one can catch a fish.

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  • Ronald Arthur Frost

    Nov 21, 2021

    There is much more money in recreational fishing as compared to Commercial. I am originally from SA and now live in NSW where the State Gov has bought out many commercial fishers and created Marine parks. There are many more fisherman in NSW and many more fish. I remember the stories of tonnes of Snapper being left to rot on the beach at Fishing villages on the St Vincents Gulf because they didn’t have a big enough freezer. Sorry i have no confidence in SA commercial fishers, the hundreds of boxes of big SA breeding Snapper the used to every go through the Sydney fish market every week shows they don.t care about anything but the dollars.

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      Lisa

      Nov 22, 2021

      Hi Ronald,

      Thank you for reading and reaching out. I truly hope that more people, especially younger anglers and future generations, get to enjoy fishing for Snapper. Personally, I hope that one day, I’ll get the chance to reel in my own Snapper in SA, once the species are no longer endangered.

      Lisa

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      Phillip

      Dec 13, 2021

      NSW marine parks weren’t brought in to manage fisheries. Also the history is a lot different to WA. We have been fished a lot harder in the past. The buyouts happened in the 1990’s to keep things sustainable. It was also decided to give rec fishing more of a say and 30 rec havens were established.

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      Andrijana Maletic

      Dec 13, 2021

      Hi Phillip,

      Thanks for jumping in and sharing your point of view, different perspectives are always important when discussing important issues.

      All the best!

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  • Andy

    Feb 21, 2021

    At first I thought the 3 year closure was a bit much, but justifiable. The introduction of slot size limits should be introduced leaving the big breeders to carry on as well as the allowing the juveniles to grow.

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      Sean

      Feb 23, 2021

      Hi Andy,

      Thanks for sharing.

      That sounds like a very good idea, at least for the South East region.

      Breeding Snapper would still be able to reproduce, while the fishery would continue to exist.

      For the Spencer Gulf and Gulf St Vincent populations, introducing slot size limits is a little trickier simply because the Snapper numbers are drastically lower. With post release mortality rates probably hovering around 9%, catch and release fishing could be too risky at this point.

      Thanks again for sharing and have a great day!

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  • David

    Oct 27, 2020

    Hi everyone,

    I’m a local on Yorke Peninsula and love going fishing out in my boat maybe 2-3 times per year in the Spencer Gulf.
    My question is, whenever I go fishing (normally for whiting or flathead) I’m always hooking up with young snapper (they just jump on the line, not that I’ve ever caught one bigger than about 40cm, so I always release them) but now I’m reading tag and release is strictly forbidden, how am I even supposed to be going fishing without catching them by mistake?
    If I can’t catch and release, I might as well just sell the boat..?

    Many thanks
    David

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      Sean

      Oct 27, 2020

      Hi David,

      Thanks for asking, that’s a very good question.

      Unintentional hookups can always happen, which is why nobody is going to penalise you for accidentally getting a Snapper on your line. Still, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any rules regarding this issue.

      According to PIRSA, all unintentionally caught Snapper must be immediately returned to the water using a release weight. There’s actually an official PIRSA brochure on best catch and release practices that you can check out here.

      I hope you’ll find this helpful.

      Have a great day!

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  • Brian

    Sep 10, 2020

    I fish in southeast waters and think the ban is unfair how about up the size and lower the bag limit would be a good start

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      Sean

      Sep 10, 2020

      Hi Brian,

      Thanks for sharing.

      I completely understand your point of view. My guess is that the authorities went for a complete ban because they thought that this would be a better long-term solution.

      Post-release mortality could be another factor that influenced the decision. According to some studies, around 9% of released fish don’t actually survive.

      That being said, a complete ban is definitely a hard pill to swallow if your business is dependent on fishing for Snapper.

      Thanks again for sharing.

      Have a good one!

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  • David Pollock

    Jul 20, 2020

    At the time of the closure i was very Dissapointed esp for country towns and charter operators.I have done previous charters Marion bay and cape jervois had great fun catching nanagi /swallowtail beautiful to eat.Sadly on those spots you also catch Snapper so that locations cannot be fished. I wondered if Sa fish mag and tv videos were seen. suggestion could have been taken to increase the ban during breeding season by 3 months. I saw a lot of video from tumby bay where all charter operators and private fishers were on their drops at midnight and bagged out very quickly. Obviously the breeding fish had not moved on and were hungry.What a waste so these anglers and others at known breeding grounds brought a lot on themselves.I also believe orgs in charge of governing bodies need seperation from politics. Fishing should be Blue under Green it will Dissapear.

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      Sean

      Jul 20, 2020

      Hi David,

      Thanks for sharing.

      You’re right, even when they’re not explicitly targeted, Snapper often end up as bycatch on both private and commercial fishing boats. Still, with good release practices, that’s a much more sustainable option than to target them outright.

      As far as the midnight line dropping is concerned, we couldn’t agree more. While it’s obvious that many of these fishers are catching fish for a living, there should be a clear boundary with sustainability as the primary focus. Let’s hope that the 3 year ban will shift things around a bit.

      Thanks for sharing, and have a great day!

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  • Bert

    May 8, 2020

    I think the three year ban is a great idea. I am a little worried that other species in the region will suffer under the extra fishing pressure during this time.
    I feel the professionals should be further restricted after the ban by introducing a ‘no netting’ period through spawning months and popular recreational fishing areas closed to professional fishing. Our fishery is worth protecting at any economic cost.

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      Sean

      May 11, 2020

      Hi Bert,

      Thanks for sharing!

      Other species could certainly become endangered. However, if there’s anything we’ve learned, it’s that relying on a single species is bound to have negative consequences. The smart thing to do at this point is to promote a multitude of fish species among anglers and fishing guides. Thankfully, South Australia has no shortage of species to offer.

      To your point, it’s completely reasonable to expect some limitations to remain in place even after the three year ban is lifted. What exactly those limitations are, we will have to wait to see.

      Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

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  • Nigel

    Apr 20, 2020

    As if I mean as if it was the recreational guys, ban the netting and trawling boats very obvious now the whole state suffers. Yes a 3 year ban is/was required.

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      Sean

      Apr 21, 2020

      Hi Nigel,

      Thanks for reading.

      Absolutely, nobody can argue with that. Netting and trawling actually affect much more than the individual targeted species. Now, it just remains to be seen how commercial fishers will deal with the three-year closure.

      Thanks for sharing, Nigel.

      Have a great day!

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  • Ged

    Apr 12, 2020

    I think the ban had to happen as no on will benefit from an extinct species
    The bigger question is what did we do wrong for it to get so bad and if nothing changes why won’t it just happened again.
    No mater what the economic impact fishing has to be sustainable for the industry as well as the species.

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      Sean

      Apr 13, 2020

      Hi Ged,

      Thanks for sharing.

      You’re absolutely right. The fact that the species can decline so much in so little time shows that a long-term conservation plan is needed, even after the 3-year ban has passed.

      Thankfully, local businesses will have diversified their offers by then, and they will hopefully be less dependent on Snapper.

      Thanks again for sharing, Ged.

      Have a great day!

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      Peter

      Sep 22, 2020

      Hi Ged you are right with all that you have put down. I think the best thing to do is to ban taking of smaller snapper till after the fish are old enough to breed. The fisheries are aware of the size that they get too to breed. The fisheries have a knee jerk reaction just like cockling the quoter could be more and the season shorter

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