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


    Fishing Experience

    • Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys report a catch rate of 0.7 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • Red Emperor were not commonly reported in 2017 (19th most common at boat ramp surveys)
    • An increase in Commercial Catch Rates from 19.4kg/day in 2016 to 22.8kg/day in 2017 was reported
    • Hinchinbrook ranked 11th in the state for the catch rate of Red Emperor 


    Quality of the Fish

    • 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reported an average length of 500mm in 2017
    • Hinchinbrook ranked 11th in the state for average length 


    Community Attitudes

    • 72% of Red Emperor caught in 2017 were released
    • 68% of of the total catch were reported by visitors
    • Hinchinbrook ranked 14th in the state for the number of fish released


  • Assessment

    Moderate Take For Consumption/Visitor Surveys Advised

    Red Emperor are important to both Commercial and Recreational fishers in Hinchinbrook. Most fish are targetted by visitors to the region. The take for Red Emperor is lower for both sectors than Redthroat Emperor and Hinchinbrook ranks 11th on catch rates statewide. Obtaining more detail on how the visiting fishers view their fishing experience and how it impacts their decisions to stay in the region would be advised.

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


  • Forecast


    • Catch rates may be down in 2018 (0.6-0.8 Fish/Fisher/Trip)
    • Most legal fish will be in the range 550-650mm
    • 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 Hinchinbrook 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 14th in Hinchinbrook in 2017
    • The average size of fish measured in 2017 was 500mm
    • Recreational Fishers reported a catch rate of 0.7 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • 72% of fish reported in 2017 were released
    • 68% of the total catch was reported by visitors
    • Peak periods of Red Emperor catches in 2017 were during May


    Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys monitoring dashboard


  • Sportfishers


    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.

    • Sportfishers reported a catch rate of 4 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • Further data under review


    A snapshot of local Sportfisher / Suntaggers catch data is available:

    Local Sportfishers / Suntaggers



  • 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 Hinchinbrook (see Area Fished section) represents 12.8% share of the total statewide catch. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.

    • Commercial Catch rate in 2017 had increased slightly from 19.4kg/fisher/day in 2016 to 22.8kg/fisher/day in 2017
    • Number of active licenses has fluctuated between 33-44 over the past decade with 36 licenses active in 2017
    • Commercial catch in 2017 was 4.44T, compared to 4.72T in 2016.


    Hinchinbrook Red Emperor Commercial Catch Dashboard


  • Recruitment

    Monitoring of Red Emperor Recruitment

    No data is available currently on Red Emperor recruitment.


  • Monitoring

    Monitoring of Red Emperor

    Data for this assessment has been sourced from:

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


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

    Local Sportfishers / Suntag 
    Hinchinbrook Queensland Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys
    Hinchinbrook 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. For this assessment commercial grids I19-M19 and I20-M20 were used.