Overview of commercial trawl fisheries

From 3 January 2017 until further notice, all 6 scallop replenishment areas (SRAs) located off Yeppoon, Bustard Head and Hervey Bay are closed to all scallop fishing. A winter closure also applies each year – fishers cannot take or be in possession of scallops in the Queensland East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery between 1 May and 31 October each year. These measures have been put in place to prevent further decline to the stock. Find out more.

Trawl fisheries are Queensland's largest commercial fisheries, producing up to 7800t of product worth about $99 million each year.

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.

This guide gives an overview of Queensland's commercial trawl fisheries, including management areas, target species, gear used, licensing and regulations.