Two Hervey Bay boat ramps included in statewide survey

TWO Hervey Bay boat ramps will be among a statewide recreational fishing survey.

River Heads Ramp and Urangan Boat Harbour will be two of 45 locations from Weipa to the Gold Coast at which monitoring staff will ask about experiences as well as their measure their catch.

More than 14,000 boat crews have been interviewed across the state with 75 per cent undertaking recreational fishing and with an average fishing trip lasting 4.7 hours.

Fisheries Minister Bill Byrne said those 10 minutes would help add to the department's understanding of the industry and add to the recreational experience across the state.

"Each survey adds to our understanding of our fish stocks, the species being caught and the local fishing effort and will help us to improve the recreational fishing experience in our state," Mr Byrne said.

"This data collection program is critical to understand the sustainability of Queensland's fish stocks and protect the thousands of regional jobs that rely on fisheries resources".

Surveys are conducted five times per month, on weekdays and weekends, resulting in more than 900 hours of monitoring each month.

Mr Byrne said most fishers were happy to contribute to the survey.

"The survey is about where fishers have been during their trip, how long they were fishing for, which species they were targeting and which they kept and released," he said.

"The data from the surveys will also help us understand the benefits of the net free zones in Cairns, Mackay and Rockhampton that were established by the Government in 2015.

"A report on the first 18 months' results from the boat ramp surveys will be available later this year and will start to show what differences are evident following the establishment of the net free zones.

"We expect it will take a few years to see clear trends, as the areas have only been closed to netting for just over a year and there are natural variations due to seasons and weather that need to be taken into account, but the feedback is positive so far."

Go to www.fisheries.qld.gov.au or phone 13 25 23 for more information.



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