New temporary closure for black bream in the Lakes and Coorong

BLACK BREAM: Black bream are a relatively slow-growing species and a decline of its estuary habitat makes it vulnerable to over fishing.
BLACK BREAM: Black bream are a relatively slow-growing species and a decline of its estuary habitat makes it vulnerable to over fishing.

New temporary management arrangements for black bream in the Lakes and Coorong for both commercial and recreational fishers come into effect on September 1.

The three-month closure, until November 30, 2018, will benefit the popular species by offering it protection during its critical breeding season, ensuring the stock is available for future generations to catch and enjoy.

The new temporary arrangements apply to black bream in the Lakes and Coorong from midnight on Saturday, September 1 until midnight on November 30, 2018.

Under the arrangements:

  • Commercial and recreational fishing nets cannot be used within 300 metres of barrages located in the Coorong (Area 1) including Goolwa, Mundoo, Boundary Creek, Ewe Island and Tauwitchere barrages.
  • Black bream cannot be targeted and all incidental catch of Black Bream must be released by both the recreational and commercial sectors.

Executive director PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture Sean Sloan said the importance of black bream to the both the recreational and commercial fishing sectors meant the temporary arrangements were essential to address concerns about the stock’s sustainability in the Lakes and Coorong.

“Having a sustainable, healthy and abundant stock of black bream in the Lakes and Coorong is in everyone’s interest and as such, the three-month closure during the Black Bream’s breeding season applies to both recreational and commercial fishers,” Mr Sloan said.

Black bream were a relatively slow-growing species and a decline of its estuary habitat at the mouth of the Murray River made it vulnerable to over fishing, he said.

Fisheries scientists believed that the black bream in the Lakes and Coorong were a distinct population and any juveniles bred by the breeding stock were recruited back into the system.

KI BREAM: Kangaroo Island black bream were a distinct self sustaining population and were not deemed to be under the the same environmental and over-fishing threats as the mainland populations

KI BREAM: Kangaroo Island black bream were a distinct self sustaining population and were not deemed to be under the the same environmental and over-fishing threats as the mainland populations

Other populations such as those in Kangaroo Island rivers were also distinct self sustaining populations and were not deemed to be under the the same environmental and over-fishing threats as the mainland populations, Mr Sloan said.

“We know black bream like to gather around barrages, especially when spawning, so extending the existing closure around the barrages from 150m to 300m is crucial to offer them this safe haven to reproduce and replenish their population,” he said.

“Offering protection to a species during their breeding season is best-practice fisheries management and there are numerous examples across the state where similar measures have been successfully introduced to help a stock to recover.”

PIRSA consulted with both commercial and recreational fishers through the Lakes and Coorong Fishery Management Advisory Committee on the temporary management arrangements, which will be reviewed in 12 months.

The three-month closure applies to the Lakes and Coorong under Section 79 of the Fisheries Management Act 2007.

Lakes and Coorong means the waters of the Coorong, Lake Alexandrina, Lake Albert, and the coastal waters adjacent to South Australia between the location on Mean High Water Springs closest to 35°31′23.50″ South, 138°46′23.83″ East (Beach Road, Goolwa) and the location on Mean High Water Springs closest to 36°49′34.59″ South, 139°50′55.95″ East (Kingston SE Jetty).

Failure to comply can result in a maximum fine of up to $20,000.

Further information on fishing limits is available at www.pir.sa.gov.au/fishing and via the free SA Rec Fishing App.

Suspicious or illegal fishing activities can be reported 24-hours, seven days per week to Fishwatch on 1800 065 522. Callers can choose to remain anonymous.

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