19 February 2019

The Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and Queensland Water Police recently conducted a joint agency patrol of Port Kennedy, on Thursday Island, prior to the opening of the tropical rock lobster (TRL) hookah season.

The patrol provided an opportunity for the Queensland Water Police, on behalf of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, to check that fishers were complying with sea safety regulations for commercial vessels.

During the safety inspections, AFMA fisheries officers updated the crews and masters of the TRL vessels on the latest requirements relating to the carriage and use of hookah gear during the 2019 season.

There were six TRL vessels inspected during the patrol and all were found to be compliant with fisheries management and safety requirements.

The TRL fishery is a valuable commercial fishery in the Torres Strait. It’s also very important to the livelihood of the wider Torres Strait community, so it’s important that fishers know the rules and regulations and that there are penalties if these aren’t followed.

Reminder that periodic moon-tide hookah closures will start from 17 February and during these closures the carriage and use of hookah gear is not permitted.

If you have any questions call AFMA on 1300 723 621.

Download the latest moon-tide hookah closure calendar from the PZJA website.