From the :

Management and Reform, Fisheries QueenslandDepartment of Agriculture and Fisheries

Dear stakeholder,

The East coast Spanish mackerel harvest strategy: 2023-2028 has been released. This strategy sets out long-term objectives for the fishery, defining catch shares among fishing sectors and specifying decision rules for managing the fishery to achieve the ecological, economic, and social objectives of the fishery. It has just been published online here.

The east coast Spanish mackerel fishery was assessed in 2021 as overfished, requiring urgent action to rebuild stocks. This harvest strategy aims to rebuild the stock to a level that achieves maximum sustainable yield, and subsequently, pursues the long-term goal of achieving maximum economic yield, while maintaining catch shares amongst the commercial, recreational, charter and Indigenous fishing sectors.

This strategy will manage fishing mortality of east coast Spanish mackerel stock, primarily through setting a total allowable catch for all sectors at a level that allows the stock to achieve defined biomass targets. Other management tools (e.g. size limits, spawning closures) may also be used to support the sustainable management of this stock under this harvest strategy.

The harvest strategy has been made following significant consultation with stakeholders and aims to strike a balance between rebuilding the stock and providing more controlled access for recreational and commercial fishers.

The first northern seasonal closures in east coast waters north of 22˚S (slightly north of Stanage Bay) will be from the beginning of 22 October to the end of 12 November 2022, and the beginning of 21 November to the end of 12 December 2022.

Commercial fishers still at sea with Spanish mackerel onboard as the closure comes into effect should ensure their logbooks (via the Qld eFisher app or hardcopy logbooks) accurately record the Spanish mackerel possessed immediately prior to the closure. For example, this can be through daily logs in the Qld eFisher app, or through taking a time-stamped photo of the hardcopy logbooks prior to the closure.

If you would like further information, please contact the fisheries managers in the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries by email at or by calling the DAF Call Centre on 13 25 23 and asking to talk to a fishery manager.