Commercial fishing industry

We recognise that fishing on the Great Barrier Reef is an important pastime and a source of income for 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 are also keen to ensure this culturally important resource remains healthy.

We work collaboratively with others including the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (who are responsible for day to day fisheries management), the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, and commercial and recreational fishers to continuously improve fishing gear and methods. While fisheries management continues to improve, a number of risks remain which are being progressively addressed.

Fishing is an important activity in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park that provides valuable commercial, recreational and cultural benefits. Commercial fishing in the Marine Park is an important contributor to Australia’s seafood industry and generates approximately $104 million annually.

The activities undertaken as part of this partnership have included:

  • Climate Change Liaison Officer: The Queensland Seafood Industry Association 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, we work with commercial fishers through the Reef Guardian Fishers Program.