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 reported catch rate was 1.5 fish/fisher/day in 2014. More current data is under review
    • 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reported a Cath rate of 0.9 fish/fisher/day
    • Bundaberg ranked 10th in the state for Grass Emperor Catch Rates
    • A decrease in Commercial Catch Rates was reported, from 10kg/day in 2016 to 5.29kg/day in 2017


    Quality of the Fish

    • 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reported an average length of 388mm
    • Bundaberg ranked 3rd in the State for size of Grass Emperor (based on Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys - based on min 100 fish reported)


    Community Attitudes

    • 53% of fish reported in 2017 were released
    • 57% of fish reported in 2017 were caught by locals 
    • Bundaberg ranked 13th in the state for the number of Grass Emperor released in 2017


  • Forecast

    Moderate Take For Consumption Advised

    Grass Emperor catch rates are in the top 5 in the state and there are no reported issues for the species. This however is relative to current effort. Maintianing the current community harvest attitudes to the species is appropriate to maintaining the health of catch rates over the longer term.

    • Catch rates should continue to improve in 2018 (+10-+30%)
    • Average size of fish is likely to be similar in 2018 (Average 359mm)
    • 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 Bundaberg regularly report catching Grass Emperor with most being returned to the water. Monitoring began in 2017 and continues in 2018.

    • A catch rate of 0.9 fish/fisher/day was reported in 2017 Qld Fisheries Boast Ramp Surveys
    • An average length of 388mm was reported in 2017
    • 53% of fish reported in 2017 were released
    • 57% of fish reported in 2017 were caught by locals
    • The peak periods for Grass Emperor catches in 2017, were during February and September


    Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys monitoring dashboard


  • Sportfishers


    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.



    A snapshot of Grass Emperor catch by 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 Grass Emperor in Bundaberg (see Area Fished section) contributed 0.8% share of the total statewide catch in 2017. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.

    • Commercial Catch rate decreased from 10kg/fisher/day in 2016 to 5.9kg/fisher/day in 2017
    • The number of active licenses in 2017 was 5 with 5-17 active over the past 10 years.
    • Commercial catch in 2017 was 0.09T, compared to 0.27T in 2016.


    Cairns Grass Emperor Commercial Catch Dashboard


  • 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
    Bundaberg Queensland Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys
    Bundaberg 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).