LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Unsustainable fishing on the GBR


Unsustainable fishing on the GBR

Under-regulated fishing is putting unnecessary pressure on the Great Barrier Reef, a Reef that is already at risk from the impacts of climate change and poor water quality.

Overfishing, illegal fishing and incidental catch, alongside practices such as gillnet fishing and trawling, have a serious impact on the biodiversity and integrity of the reef system leading to a decline in reef health.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s (GBRMPA) latest position statement on fishing lays out a series of issues.

  • Incidental catch of at-risk species – including dolphins, whales, dugongs, saw fish, sea snakes, turtles and some shark – was “the most significant fisheries sustainability issue” in the marine park.
  • The use of large nets put marine wildlife at risk from entanglements and death.
  • Over-fishing was causing significant declines of saucer scallop, east coast Australian snapper, pearl perch, black jewfish and some shark species.
  • Over-fishing and illegal fishing can compromise the long-term sustainability of stocks and impact the resilience of the marine ecosystem.

While GBRMPA sets the rules regarding where you can and cannot fish, the Queensland Government is responsible for regulating fishing.

Unfortunately, the Queensland Government’s rollout of major fisheries reforms, designed to tackle many of these very issues, has stalled, with no significant steps since September 2019.

As stewards of most significant coral reef system on the planet, it is shameful and embarrassing that we’re subjecting our Reef to such damaging fishing, particularly when it’s under such intense pressure from global warming and poor water quality.

It is time for the Queensland Government to step up and pass the regulations required to deliver a sustainable fisheries strategy.

Damaging fishing practices must stop, for the good of the Great Barrier Reef, for the good of our Reef tourism industry and for the good of the fishing industry.


Harry's view on Clive Palmer losing court case.
Harry's view on Clive Palmer losing court case.


They lost three children when a drunk driver ploughed into them last year. Overnight, their family home was robbed with “precious memories” stolen.

Julia Fuller: Oh this is awful, this poor family has lost so much already.

Georgina Hourigan: What is wrong with these low life people. Bring back National Service or a boot camp.

Heather Morier: I just hope that who took them realises what they have and return them.

Janelle Joy: So sad how can people be so mean.

Leanne Hay: Seriously what is wrong with people.


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