Seafood industry bites back at Nets Out Queensland claims

THE Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) hasn't been hooked by data provided by Nets Out Queensland (NOQ) last week which suggested many seafood outlets in the region did not stock locally sourced fish.

The data was intended to answer community concerns that local shops would no longer be able to stock fish after the net-free areas come into effect.

NOQ's sample survey anonymously visited 44 retailers in the region including fish and chip shops, restaurants, taverns, pubs, specialist outlets and supermarkets to inquire and record their fish stock.

But the QSIA said the report should not be considered scientific, open or transparent.

"There are two retail/whole businesses in the Capricornia region that were never interviewed for the survey, Glenmore Seafoods and Rosslyn Bay Fishermans Market," a spokesman said.

"Both stores have indicated that as well as barramundi they sell triple tail, sea mullet and diamond scale, flake, silver jew, mangrove jack, fingermark, tongue sole, pomfret, flathead, blue threadfin, king threadfin, flat threadfin, bream, grey mackerel, grunter, queenfish and whitting - all are net caught.

"Fresh fish product is available year-round at many locations (that) may not have (been) surveyed (in the) report."

After the NOQ claimed only four to six of the 44 local outlets surveyed may experience a slight short-term reduction in species currently supplied by commercial netters fishing the proposed new net-free areas, the QSIA have labelled the claim a "downplay" of the region's product.

"Queensland and Australian consumers are set to miss out on 850,000 serves of fresh local fish," he said.

"It's not fear that generated over 27,000 petitions signatures collected across Queensland... it was the stupidity of the situation."

The spokesman said those looking for data on the sustainability of fisheries could visit the stock status assessments on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website.



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