Fishing on the Great Barrier Reef is an important pastime and a source of income for both Queensland coastal communities and the seafood industry.
The Great Barrier Reef supports commercial, recreational, Indigenous and charter fishing, targeting a range of species including fish, sharks, crabs and prawns.
There a number of major commercial fisheries in the Great Barrier Reef Region, including:
- East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery
- East Coast Coral Reef Line Fishery
- East Coast Inshore Finfish Fishery
- East Coast Dive-Based Fisheries
Commercial fishing is limited entry and is spread across the Great Barrier Reef.
Viable commercial 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.
Recreational fishing is an open access fishery, taking an estimated six million fish in 2007. Recreational effort is mostly focused in inshore areas.
Traditional Owners too are keen to ensure this culturally important resource remains healthy.
Although largely unquantified, Indigenous fishing occurs close to communities along the East Coast up to the tip of Cape York. Indigenous fishing is often undertaken in conjunction with traditional hunting.
Increasing awareness of the need for environmental stewardship has prompted some recent best practice initiatives amongst some commercial and recreational fishing sectors.