Crimson Snapper are a popular food species and are the most commonly targeted offshore species. Most of the offshore activity for reef species around Cairns is conducted by recreational fishers.

  • Overview


    Crystal Bowl GBR is aiming to examine 3 core measures across a wide range of species in the region:

    • Fishing experience (how many fish per trip)
    • Quality of the fish (size of fish)
    • Community attitudes (number of legal size fish kept or released)


    Fishing Experience

    • Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reports catch rate of 1.4 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • Crimson Snapper were the 3rd most commonly reported catch in Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys
    • Cairns ranked 2nd in the state in 2017 for the catch rate of Crimson Snapper in 2017
    • A notable increase in Commercial Catch Rates, from 8.15kg/day in 2016 to 23.5kg/day in 2017, were reported.


    Quality of the Fish

    • 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys 486mm
    • Cairns ranked 3rd in the State for size of Crimson Snapper in 2017 however, due to small sample size there is some uncertainty in that ranking


    Community Attitudes

    • 88% of fish reported in Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp surveys in 2017 were released
    • Cairns has the 3rd highest rate of released fish in the state but due to small sample size there is high uncertainty in that ranking.


  • Assessment

    Moderate Take For Consumption Advised

    Crimson Snapper are a popular offshore species and are the 3rd most common fish reported at boat ramps in 2017.   Longer term data is required to determine if fishing levels are sustainable, moderation is advised.

    Heavy harvesting of Crimson Snapper is not recommended, but a moderate take for immediate consumption is unlikely to adversely affect stocks based on available data. 

  • Forecast


    • Catch rates are likely to be up in 2018 (+10 - +30%)
    • Legal fish are likely to be similar in 2018 (420mm-500mm)
    • Recruitment is unknown


  • Qld FIsheries Boat Ramp Surveys 

    Monitoring of Recreational Catch by Qld Fisheries

    Queensland Fisheries monitors boat ramps up and down the coast as a part of the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy. Fishers in Cairns regularly report catching Crimson Snapper with most being returned to the water. Monitoring began in 2017 and continues in 2018.

    • Crimson Snapper was a commonly reported species, ranking 3rd in Cairns in 2017
    • The average length of Crimson Snapper in 2017 was 486mm
    • Recreational Fishers reported a catch rate of 1.45 fish/fisher/day
    • 88% of fish reported in 2017 were released
    • Peak periods for Crimson Snapper catches were during March, July and September in 2017


    Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys monitoring dashboard


  • Commercial Fishing

    Commercial Fishing Catch

    Queensland Fisheries monitors commercial catches up and down the coast. Commercial fishers are required to maintain logbooks of catch and report quarterly. The commercial catch of Crimson Snapper in Cairns (refer to Fishing Area section) contributed 7.59% to the total statewide catch in 2017. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.

    • Crimson Snapper are generally not a commercial target species
    • Commercial Catch rate increased from 8.15kg/fisher/day in 2016 to 23.5kg/fisher/day in 2017
    • Number of active licenses ranged from 7-17 in the past decade with all 17 active in 2017
    • Commercial catch in 2017 was 0.94T, compared to 0.53T in 2016


    Cairns Crimson Snapper Commercial Catch Dashboard


  • Sportfishers

    Local Sportfishers

    Crimson Snapper are targeted by sportfishers for much the same reason as other groups - take home for a feed. As sportfishers practice catch and release for their key estuary targets, offshore represents the opportunity to bring back a feed of fish for the family.

    • nat available yet


    A detailed snapshot of local Sportfishers and Suntaggers is available:

    Local Sportfishers / Suntaggers


  • Recruitment

    Monitoring of Crimson Snapper Recruitment

    No data is available currently on Crimson Snapper recruitment.


  • Monitoring

    Monitoring of Crimson Snapper

    Data for this assessment has been sourced from:

    • Bureau of Meterology
    • Queensland Fisheries
    • Suntag / Local Sportfishers


    Here are links to all the monitoring pages for Crimson Snapper:

    Local Sportfishers / Suntag
    Cairns Queensland Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys
    Cairns Queensland Fisheries Commercial Data

  • Fishing Area

    Area Assessed

    Offshore assessments of Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp data are based on ramp of origin, destination is recorded in broad general regions. Some offshore traffic likely extends offshore of Port Douglas.  Commercial catches have been assessed directly out of Cairns H16/17-P16/17.