Commercial fishing industry

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) recognises that fishing on the Great Barrier Reef  is an important pastime and a source of income for both Queensland coastal communities and the Queensland seafood industry. Viable commercial and charter fishing industries depend on a healthy ecosystem just as Queenslanders rely on a healthy reef ecosystem for recreation and as a source of local seafood. Traditional Owners too are keen to ensure this culturally important resource remains healthy.

The GBRMPA works collaboratively with others including Fisheries Queensland, the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), and commercial and recreational fishers to continuously improve fishing gear and methods. While fisheries management continues to improve, a small number of risks remain which are being progressively addressed.

Recognising the shared goals of marine managers and commercial fishers, the GBRMPA and Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) formed a partnership to work with fisheries managers to ensure a sustainable future for the Great Barrier Reef.

The activities undertaken as part of this partnership have included:

  • Climate Change Liaison Officer: the QSIA has appointed a liaison officer to drive fisheries and climate change related projects established under the partnership. The role provides a point of contact for commercial fishers on all matters relating to climate change
  • Fisheries Emissions Calculator: the emissions calculator is an online tool that allows for more energy efficient and cheaper operations for fishers. By measuring levels of energy use over the last few years, fishers can identify areas that require attention
  • Workshops for commercial fishers: a series of workshops provided advice, guidance and information regarding climate change related adaptation opportunities and carbon emission reduction methods.
In addition to this work, the GBRMPA is working with commercial fishers through the Reef Guardian Fishers Program.