The south east snapper season has closed early

South East anglers snap up snapper

The snapper allocation in the South East have been snapped up, bring the season to an early end.

The current recreational snapper fishing season in the state's South East will close next Wednesday, at 11:59pm.

The five-month recreational allocation of 1077 snapper has been reached six weeks after the season opened.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the move to mandatory catch reporting via the SA Fishing app this year had been highly successful.

"The move away from tags to mandatory reporting via an app has enabled more recreational fishers to enjoy catching a snapper in the South East," Minister Basham said.

"The allocation of 1077 snapper was more than double the actual recreational catch from last year.

"Around 3000 snapper tags were distributed for the whole of last year, but only 452 snapper were caught in the South East, and following feedback we moved to this year's mandatory reporting system for recreational fishers instead.

"We wanted to broaden the experience of catching a snapper in the South East and mandatory reporting via the SA Fishing app has achieved exactly that.

"This year more than 700 recreational fishers have had the opportunity to catch a snapper. The bag limit of two snapper per person and ideal fishing conditions has meant the allocation has already been caught.

"Given the February-June allocation has been caught, the fairest way forward for recreational fishers, while protecting the snapper stocks, is to close the South East recreational fishing season from 11:59pm on Wednesday, March 10 and when it reopens, to reduce the bag limit.

"We are giving a week's notice to try and limit the impact on people who may have already booked a holiday in the South East this long weekend.

"The snapper fishery will reopen in the South East on 1 July and the recreational fishing allocation will be 862 snapper. The fishery will close on 31 October, unless the limit is reached earlier.

"I considered advice from both the Minister's Recreational Fishing Advisory Council and the Snapper Management Advisory Committee and decided to reduce the daily bag limit to one and daily boat limit to three when it reopens on 1 July.

This will allow more recreational fishers to share the opportunity to fish for snapper in the South East.

"The over catch taken between now and next Thursday will come off the July to October total allowable catch."

Mandatory reporting will remain unchanged - any snapper catch must be reported via the SA Fishing app or by calling Fishwatch on 1800 065 522.