Fisheries Queensland management of the east coast trawl fishery under the Sustainable Seafood Strategy, a jigsaw of regional zones along the coastline that will soon bite into the State’s local seafood supply with closures on local trawl operators under this system imminent.
It is anticipated the first closure under this regional zoning system is rapidly looming within weeks with the trawl fishing allocation in the zone from Hervey Bay to Mackay at 87.48% exhausted (23/5/22). The remaining 12% of allocation for the year is supposed to sustain local businesses reliant on sourcing and selling the locally caught products until November 2022.
For seafood lovers – residing or visiting from Hervey Bay to Mackay it means that the wide variety of local trawler caught products, the prawns, Moreton Bay bugs, cuttlefish, squid that are currently caught in these waters along with the already banned Hervey Bay scallop will be off the menu until Government allows business to recommence in the region Nov 2022. Under the regional management, the pattern of state-wide closures and prohibitions certainly will impact supply and cost of local seafood for long periods during any one year.
For business – The resident trawl fleet families working from Hervey Bay, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Yeppoon and Mackay their business options are: (1) business cease operating, lose their local and winter tourist clientele by remaining idle at the wharf without income in the peak prawn season, and (2) become nomadic to distant waters.
To the silent stakeholder in fisheries management (home cooks, tourists and food service industry business) – you can expect to experience shortages, higher prices due to logistical cost or interrupted supply. It is not a sustainability or over fishing issue. It is the action of the Queensland Government that impedes and stops your right to source seafood from your own locale. Notwithstanding fisheries managers notifying fishers of closures, seafood consumers have been the overlooked Queenslanders.
Almost 13,000 Queensland have reacted to this social media post in a 24 hour period. The silent stakeholder, the Queensland community want fresh, local seafood provided by Queensland trawl fishers. Our community deserves access to their seafood resource.
If you have any questions, I encourage you to contact me at E: firstname.lastname@example.org or call on M: 0417 631 353.