Commercial Trawl Fisheries

Commercial trawl fisheries

Trawl fisheries are Queensland's largest commercial fisheries. There are 2 basic types of trawling: otter trawling and beam trawling.The otter trawl fishery, which operates in more open waters, is by far the larger, accounting for about 95% of the total harvest taken each year. Beam trawlers are used in estuaries.

Queensland has 4 main trawl fisheries:
• the east coast otter trawl fishery
• the Moreton Bay otter trawl fishery
• the river and inshore beam trawl fishery
• the fin fish (stout whiting) trawl fishery.

Queensland's trawl fisheries operate in all tidal waters out to the Queensland east coast offshore constitutional settlement boundary between Cape York and the New South Wales border, with some exceptions such as areas closed to trawling.

They target the following species:

  • Tiger prawn (Penaeus esculentus, P. semisulcatus or P. monodon),
  • Endeavour prawn (Metapenaeus endeavouri and M. ensis),
  • Red spot king prawn (Penaeus longistylus),
  • Banana prawn (Penaeus merguiensis),
  • Eastern king prawn (Penaeus plebejus),
  • Bay prawn (Metapenaeus bennettae and M. macleayi),
  • Scallops (Amusium balloti and A. pleuronectes),
  • Stout whiting (Sillago robusta),
  • Moreton Bay bugs (Thenus australiensis and T.parindicus),
  • Pencil squid (Photololigo spp.),
  • Tiger squid or northern calamari (Sepioteuthis spp.),
  • Arrow squid (Ommastrephes bartramii, Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis).

A comprehensive range of measures are used to regulate the trawl fishery. These include: limits on operating time, area closures, boat size restrictions, gear restrictions and catch limits. Trawling in the Gulf of Carpentaria is jointly managed by the state and federal governments.

morton bay bug

image: Morton Bay Bug