Red Emperor are a popular food species and are the most commonly targeted offshore species. Most of the offshore activity for reef species around Gladstone 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


    Fishing Experience

    • Red Emperor have always been a small portion of the catch for Yaralla Deep Sea Club but in recent years almost no Red Emperor are reported.
    • Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reports catch rate of 1.3 fish/fisher/day
    • Red Emporer were not commonly reported (16th most common at boat ramp surveys)
    • Decrease in Commercial Catch Rates, increasing from 13.3 kg/day (2015) to 8.2kg/day (2017 Incomplete)


    Quality of the Fish

    • 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys 653.3 mm
    • Gladstone Ranked 2nd in the state on size but due to small sample size this has a high level of uncertainty.


    Community Attitudes

    • Yaralla Deep Sea Fishing Club have been fishing offshore competitions since 1976.  While their fishing effort has declined with membership, catch rates have been steady since 2004, indicating that fishing is not overly impacting the area.
    • 79% of fish reported at Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp surveys
    • Gladstone has the 3rd lowest release rate for Red Emperor based on boat ramp surveys but due to small sample size this has a high level of uncertainty.
    • 100% of fishers surveyed were locals.


  • Assessment

    Limited Take For Consumption Advised

    Red Emperor are a small portion of the offshore catch for all species off Gladstone. Limited data suggests catch rates have declined in recent years, that may be due to lower abundance or shifting fishing effort. Without clear evidence of stocks, some caution should be exercised on harvest.

    It should be noted that the longest term dataset Yaralla Deep Sea Club indicates that long term catch rates can be variable ranging from 0.6 fish/fisher/day in 2013 to 6.2 in 2003.

    Heavy harvesting of Red Emporer is not recommended, but a limited take for consumption is unlikely to adversely affect stocks based on available data. 


  • Forecast



    • Catch rates may continue to decline in 2018 (-20-+20%)
    • Average size of fish is unable to be predicted on existing data but majority will be legal >550mm
    • Recruitment is unknown



  • Yaralla Deep Sea Fishing Club

    Yaralla Deep Sea Fishing Club


    Catch data were provided by the Yaralla Deep Sea Fishing Club for the period 2002-2017. The Club has mainly fished around the Capricorn-Bunker reefs and shoals to the north involving 2-3 day charter trips. The rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park came into effect in 2004 which resulted in a significant increase in “green” no fishing zones and that had an effect on some of the locations fished by the Club.

    • Red Emperor accounted for 0.4% of the Catch in 2017
    • Red Emperor Catch Rate of 0.02 fish/fisher/day in 2017


    Read the latest update from Yaralla Sportfishing Club



  • Capreef



    Capreef monitoring comprised surveys conducted between 2006-2009 on the local attitudes and experiences when it comes to the offshore fishing experience.  The baseline established by Capreef provides context for assessments a decade later.

    In examining the recreational catch over the past 3 years Longfin Rockcod was the most caught species (19%) while Coral Trout was the most likely species to be kept (85%) and Grass Emperor was the most numerous kept species. School Mackerel was the most caught species inshore, Longfin Rockcod around the islands, Hussar at the Wide Grounds and Redthroat Emperor on the offshore reefs.

    Changes in size limits in 2004 have reduced the proportion of fish kept to less than 1% for Longfin Rockcod and 16% for Red Emperor while for Red Snapper and Redthroat Emperor over 55% are usually kept.

    Read the Capreef Report




  • 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 Gladstone regularly report catching Red Emperor with most being returned to the water. Monitoring began in 2017 and continues in 2018.

    • Red Emperor was not a commonly reported species, ranking 16th for Gladstone (42 fish)
    • Average size of fish measured was 653.3mm
    • Fishers reported an overall catch rate of 1.4 fish per day
    • 79% of fish reported are released
    • Peak periods of May and July.


    Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys monitoring dashboard


  • Sportfishers

    Gladstone Sportfishing Club

    Red 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, offshore represents the opportunity to bring back a feed of fish for the family.

    • Gladstone Sportfishing Club catch rate of TBA fish/fisher/day
    • 2017 Gladstone Sportfishing Club average fish size was TBA mm




    A detailed snapshot of tagging by the Gladstone Sportfishing Club and Suntaggers is available:

    Gladstone Sportfishing Club Results


  • 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 Red Emperor in Gladstone (S30,S31,T30,T31,U30,U31,V30,V31,W30,W31,X30,X31) represents 1.21% share of the total statewide catch. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.

    • Commercial Catch rate is down from 13.3kg/fisher/day in 2015 to 8.34kg/fisher/day
    • Number of active licenses has fluctuated between 17-27 in the past decade
    • Commercial catch in 2017 is 0.42T (data incomplete), 0.82T in 2016.


    Gladstone Red Emperor Commercial Catch Dashboard


  • Recruitment

    Monitoring of Red Emperor Recruitment

    No data is available currently on Red Recruitment.


  • Monitoring

    Monitoring of Red Emperor

    Data for this assessment has been sourced from:

    • Bureau of Meterology
    • Capreef Report 2009
    • Gladstone Sportfishing Club
    • Yaralla Deep Sea Fishing Club
    • Queensland Fisheries


    Here are links to all the monitoring pages for Red Emporer:

    Yaralla Deep Sea Fishing Club 2017 Assessment
    Capreef Report 2009
    Gladstone Sportfishing Club
    Gladstone Queensland Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys
    Gladstone Queensland Fisheries Commercial Data

  • Fishing Area

    Area Assessed

    Offshore catch monitoring is more difficult than inshore as each of the monitoring agencies define different boundaries around fishing areas. These boundaries can overlap with other regions. Fishers from Gladstone for example fish offshore from Rockhampton. Commercially Grids included in the assessment: S30,S31,T30,T31,U30,U31,V30,V31,W30,W31,X30,X31 (Gladstone).