Grass Emperor are a popular food species and are the most commonly targeted inshore species.

  • 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

    • Local Sportfishers data pending
    • Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys report a catch rate of 0.9 fish/fisher/day
    • Cairns ranked 11th in the state for Grass Emperor Catch Rates
    • No major change in Commercial Catch Rates reported, from 3.4kg/day in 2016 to 3.08kg/day in 2017


    Quality of the Fish

    • 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys report an average size of 372mm in 2017
    • Cairns ranked 5th in the State for size of Grass Emperor (based on Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys - based on min 100 fish reported)


    Community Attitudes

    • 79% of Grass Emperor reported in Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys in 2017 were released
    • 55% of fish reported in 2017 were caught by locals
    • Cairns ranked 5th in the state for the number of fish released in 2017


  • Assessment

    Moderate Take For Consumption Advised

    Grass Emperor are another commonly caught species in the Cairns Region. The high release rate suggests they may not be a target species or the majority caught are undersized, which given the lower average size of fish weighed in is likely.

  • Forecast


    Not enough data is available to make a forecast. 

  • 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 Grass Emperor with most being returned to the water. Monitoring began in 2017 and continues in 2018.

    • Grass Emperor was the 6th most commonly reported species in Cairns in 2017
    • An average length of 372mm was reported in 2017
    • Fishers reported an overall catch rate of 0.9 fish/fisher/day
    • 79% of all fish reported were released
    • Peak periods for Grass Emperor catches in 2017 were during March and September


    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 Grass Emperor in Cairns (see Area Fished section) contributed 0.3% share of the total statewide catch in 2017. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.

    • Commercial Catch rate decreased from 3.4kg/fisher/day in 2016 to 3.08kg/fisher/day in 2017
    • The number of active licenses in 2017 was 5 with 5-9 active over the past 10 years.
    • Commercial catch in 2017 was 0.04T, compared to 0.18T in 2016.


    Cairns Grass Emperor Commercial Catch Dashboard


  • Sportfishers

    Gladstone Sportfishing Club

    Grass Emperor 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, the offshore fishery represents the opportunity to bring back a feed of fish for the family.

    • data pending


    A snapshot of Grass Emperor catch by Suntaggers is available:

    Local Sportfishers / Suntaggers


  • Recruitment

    Monitoring of Grass Emperor Recruitment

    No data is available currently on Grass Emperor Recruitment.


  • Monitoring

    Monitoring of Grass Emperor

    Data for this assessment has been sourced from:

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


    Here are links to all the monitoring pages for Grass Emperor:

    Local Sportfishers
    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.