Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has today issued a last-ditch appeal to prevent the effective closure of Queensland’s east coast Spanish Mackerel fishery.

During today’s Queensland Parliament sitting, Mr Katter advised the Parliament that he would move an eleventh-hour motion to block the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s new Spanish Mackerel fishing restrictions.

These restrictions include:

  • reducing the total quota entitlement take for commercial fishers (578.03 tonnes to 165 tonnes);
  • reducing the recreational possession limit to one fish per person or 2 fish per boat;
  • removing the previous additional possession allowances for extended charter trips;
  • and adding a further regulated period for the Northern Spanish Mackerel waters for 2023-25.

The motion will be debated in the Parliament in two weeks’ time, on the evening of November 28.

Mr Katter said the new rules, which came into effect by regulation July 1 but are only now being finalised through the Queensland Parliament, would essentially shut down Queensland’s commercial supply of the much-loved fish.

He said the KAP, and the commercial fishing sector, wanted the new regulations withdrawn or at least delayed until the scientific modelling the regulations are based on can be independently scrutinised.

“In two weeks time, during the final sitting week of this year, Minister for Fisheries Mark Furner has an opportunity to listen to the industry and also to listen to Queenslanders who want to keep locally-caught seafood on the menu and on their plates wherever possible,” Mr Katter said.

“The Minister and his Department have weaponised ‘science’ for what is highly-speculated to be political purposes, and the more recent policy decisions to shut down both the east coast and the Gulf of Carpentaria gillnet fishing industries following demands from UNESCO only make these their motivations more questionable.

“In two weeks, he has a genuine opportunity to do the right thing on behalf of North Queenslanders – withdraw the regulations or at least delay them until all modelling, including what has been produced by independent experts contracted by the industry itself, can be interrogated.”

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