Red Emperor are a popular food species and are the most commonly targeted offshore species. Most of the offshore activity for reef species around the Whitsundays 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 1.04 fish/fisher/day
    • Red Emporer were commonly reported in 2017 (10th most common at boat ramp surveys)
    • An decrease in Commercial Catch Rates from 13.9kg/day in 2016 to 6.67kg/day in 2017 was reported


    Quality of the Fish

    • 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reported an average length of **mm
    • The Whitsundays ranked ** in the state for average length in 2017


    Community Attitudes

    • 93% of Red Emperor caught in 2017 were released
    • 77% of fish reported in 2017 were caught by visitors
    • The Whitsundays ranked 9th 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 the Whitsundays report catching Red Emperor with most being returned to the water. Monitoring began in 2017 and continues in 2018.

    • Red Emperor was a commonly reported species, ranking 10th in the Whitsundays in 2017
    • An average length of **mm was reported in 2017
    • Recreational Fishers reported a catch rate of 1.04 fish/fisher/day
    • 93% of fish reported in 2017 were released
    • 77% of fish reported in 2017 were caught by visitors
    • The peak period for Red Emperor catches in 2017 was during March


    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.



    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 the Whitsundays (see Area Fished sections) represents 0.2% share of the total statewide catch in 2017. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.

    • The Commercial Catch rate in 2017 was 6.67kg/fisher/day, compared to 13.9kg/fisher/day in 2016
    • Number of active licenses has fluctuated between 8 and 20 over the past decade with 8 licenses active in 2017
    • The Commercial catch in 2017 was 0.08T, compared to 0.39T in 2016.


    Whitsundays 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
    Whitsundays Queensland FisheriesBoat Ramp Surveys
    Whitsundays 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.