- Better Choice
- Red emperor is a tropical species caught in WA, QLD and NT.
- Red emperor are caught in the multi-species Reef Line Fishery along the Great Barrier Reef coast.
- Red emperor populations have recently been scientifically assessed and are likely in a healthy and resilient condition.
- The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park provides best practice protection for habitats and the wider marine environment the fishery operates within.
- A range of reforms have been introduced to the fishery's management in recent years, many of which represent best international practice in coral reef fishery management.
- QLD Reef Line Fishery (35t in 2019, 41t in 2018 )
Red emperor is a tropical species found across northern Australia but fished and managed by different jurisdictions. The largest fishery for the species operates in WA, with smaller quantities caught in QLD and the NT.
Red emperor are caught in the multi-species Reef Line Fishery along the Great Barrier Reef coast. A recent and comprehensive scientific assessment shows that red emperor populations are at a healthy and resilient level in the QLD fishery.
Red emperor populations are being effectively protected in extensive Great Barrier Marine Park zones closed to fishing.
The impacts of line fishing on the marine environment are minimal. In QLD, fishing takes place around the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which provides world-class science-based protection and monitoring of habitats and the wider ecosystem in the area of these fisheries. Recently established vessel monitoring systems are ensuring fishers are compliant with marine park regulations.
Serious climate-related environmental impacts in the forms of cyclone damage and coral bleaching events (where coral is under stress due to warm ocean waters) have occurred on the Great Barrier Reef in recent years. It is welcome that fishery and environmental managers are monitoring and managing these factors, with new measures designed to maintain species caught in the wider fishery at abundant and environmentally resilient population sizes.
It is likely the line fisheries in QLD pose minimal risk to most other species. Independent fishery observer programs are an important method of verifying protected species interactions, as well as other fishery impacts, such as the type and volume of discarded catch. Unfortunately the QLD Government closed the observer program for all QLD managed fisheries in 2012. In the intervening six years, there has been no independent scrutiny of the impact of the fishery on other species.
Despite this issue, a range of other reforms have been implemented across the fishery since the last GoodFish assessment, many of which represent international best practice and have contributed significantly to the ‘better choice’ ranking of the fishery in this assessment.