QLD Commercial eel fishery

Queensland's commercial eel fishery has 2 components: an adult fishery - eels more than 30cm long, a juvenile fishery - eels less than 30cm long.

Although fishers of adult eels and juvenile eels harvest eels at different life stages and use different gear, both target the same eel populations.

Commercial capture/harvest of adult eels is only permitted using baited eel traps or round traps. These are usually set on the bottom of an impoundment and baited with pilchards or mullet. Commercial fishers targeting juvenile eels use a variety of fishing gear, including fyke nets, dip nets and flow traps. Juvenile traps must contain bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) to minimise impacts on non-target species.

The adult eel fishery has been managed as a closed fishery (closed to new applicants) since 1999. Current licences are non-transferable, which means they cannot be bought or sold. This is the major input control on the fishery, as well as the restrictions on trapping areas and the limited number of traps allowed for use in each area.