LNP stops 'vital' fisheries research

THE Newman government scrapped vital fisheries research resources, marine biologist Julian Pepperell said yesterday.

He said the move had come at a time when it was essential to increase knowledge of the health of fish stocks and the broader marine ecosystem.

The open-ocean fish expert said the collapse of the commercial tailor harvest may be due to factors other than a decline in the species.

Fewer people fishing for the species, a decline in markets, weather and that schools had moved offshore may all have played a role.

Definitive answers would be found only through greater research.

Dr Pepperell said Australian fish management practices were among the best in the world.

Quotas, spawning season closures, lower bag limits for recreational anglers and increased minimum catch sizes all could play a role.

Fellow marine biologist, university lecturer Geoff Dews, of Alexandra Headland, said he hoped the State Government had a scientific explanation for the dramatic fall in the commercial catch of tailor and if not, that it had a plan to discover why.



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