Crimson Snapper are a popular food species and are the most commonly targeted offshore species. Most of the offshore activity for reef species around Mackay 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 0.7 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • Crimson Snapper were not commonly reported (ranked 16th in boat ramp surveys) in Mackay in 2017
    • A notable increase in Commercial Catch Rates, from 2.94kg/day in 2016 to 14.6kg/day in 2017, were reported.
    • Mackay ranked 7th in the state in 2017 for Crimson Snapper catch rates


    Quality of the Fish

    • 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys 466mm
    • Mackay ranked 6th 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

    • 91% of fish reported at Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp surveys were released
    • 66% of the fish reported in 2017 were caught by locals
    • Mackay ranked 4th in the state for the release rate of fish 


  • Forecast

    Limited Take For Consumption Advised

    Crimson Snapper are a small portion of the offshore catch for all species off Gladstone. Limited data makes full assessment difficult. 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.

    • Catch rates will be in a similar range in 2018 (+20 - -20%)
    • Average size of fish is likely to be similar in 2018 (Average 480mm)
    • Recruitment is unknown


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

  • 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 Mackay regularly report catching Crimson Snapper with most being returned to the water. Monitoring began in 2017 and continues in 2018.

    • Crimson Snapper ranked 16th for species reported in Mackay in 2017
    • The average size of Crimson Snapper measured in 2017 was 466mm
    • Recreational Fishers reported a catch rate of 0.7 fish/fisher/day
    • 91% of fish reported in 2017 were released
    • Peak period for Crimson Snapper catches was during February, followed by May and September in 2017


    Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys monitoring 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.

    • data poor


    A detailed snapshot of local Sportfishers and Suntaggers 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 Crimson Snapper in Mackay (see Area Fished section) represents 4.1% share of the total statewide catch. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.

    • Crimson Snapper are generally not a commercial target species
    • Commercial Catch rate increased from 2.94kg/fisher/day in 2016 to 14.6kg/fisher/day in 2017
    • Number of active licenses has been ranged from 5-12 in the past decade with 12 operating in 2017
    • Commercial catch in 2017 was 0.5T, compared to 0.05T in 2016


    Mackay Crimson Snapper Commercial Catch Dashboard


  • 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
    Mackay Queensland Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys
    Mackay 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).