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

    • 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reported a catch rate of 0.7 fish/fisher/day
    • Red Emporer were not commonly reported in 2017 (19th most common at boat ramp surveys)
    • An increase in Commercial Catch Rates from 19.9kg/day in 2016 to 27.7kg/day in 2017 was reported


    Quality of the Fish

    • 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reported an average length of 655mm
    • Townsville ranked 1st in the state for average length in 2017


    Community Attitudes

    • 80% of Red Emperor caught in 2017 were released
    • 72% of fish reported in 2017 were caught by locals
    • Townsville ranked 5th in the state for fish released in 2017


  • Forecast

    Limited Take For Consumption Advised

    Forecast Pending.

    Heavy harvesting of Red Emporer is not recommended, but a limited 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 Townsville 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 across the state in 2017.
    • An average length of 655mm was reported in 2017
    • Recreational Fishers reported a catch rate of 0.7 fish/fisher/day
    • 80% of fish reported in 2017 were released
    • 72% of fish reported in 2017 were caught by locals
    • Peak periods for Red Emperor catches in 2017 were during January, March and September


    Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys monitoring dashboard


  • Sportfishers

    Red Emperor

    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.

      data pending


    A snapshot of Sportfisher (Suntaggers) results is available:

    Local Sportfishers


  • 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 Townsville (see Area Fished sections) represents 9.52% share of the total statewide catch. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.

    • Commercial Catch rate in 2017 was 27.7kg/fisher/day, compared to 19.9kg/fisher/day in 2016
    • Number of active licenses has fluctuated between 26-42 over the past decade with 27 licenses active in 2017
    • Commercial catch in 2017 was 3.3T, compared to 3.59T in 2016.


    Townsville Red Emperor Commercial Catch Dashboard


  • 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
    Townsville Queensland FisheriesBoat Ramp Surveys
    Townsville 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 gridsJ21-R21 and J22-R22 were used.