18/01/2020 | Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP | Tim Whetstone MP

If you want to be one of 606 recreational fishers to be able catch a snapper in South Australia’s south east waters this season time is running out for you to be involved in the tag ballot, with applications closing tomorrow.

A total closure on snapper fishing in the Spencer Gulf, West Coast and Gulf St Vincent is in place until 31 January 2023, with limited access to Snapper when fishing opens in the South East region from 1 February until 31 October this year under the recreational tag system.

To be in the running to receive tags and target snapper in the South East region, recreational fishers must register to go in the ballot – 3,030 tags will be made available with each successful applicant to receive five recreational snapper tags.

The State Government had received more than 3000 applications up until Friday 17 January with approximately 1600 from the south east.

Acting Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the control measures in place for snapper were developed in consultation with the Minister’s Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee.

“The control measures were recommended by the Snapper Management Advisory Committee as the best way to manage South Australian Snapper fisheries going forward, which included the use of a ballot,” said Acting Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

"The random ballot for snapper tags will give precedence to South East recreational fishers with a 50 per cent allocation of tags, and the remaining 50 per cent allocation of tags for prospective fishers across the rest of South Australia – so that all recreational fishers will get a fair go.

"The tag ballot will ensure snapper stocks in the south-east are not over exploited while the fishery in the gulfs and West Coast are closed, while providing for a rewarding fishing experience for hundreds of recreational fishers. Charter boats operators with an active licence will each get 49 tags, which opens up snapper fishing for tourists or any South Australian fishers who are not successful in the ballot."

Recreational fishing snapper tag holders must be in possession of tags in their name at all times when fishing for Snapper. Tags are colour-coded to ensure that they are only used in the 2020 snapper season and are not transferable between recreational fishers.

Recreational, commercial and charter fishers will also be required to report all snapper caught to Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA). The use of snapper release weights to improve chances of survival during the open season will be mandatory for recreational fishers.

Applications close for the recreational snapper fishing tag ballot at 4pm Sunday 19 January 2020. Late applications will not be accepted. Successful applicants will be notified before the end of January. For more details on snapper fishing in the south east and to find out how to apply for the ballot go to www.pir.sa.gov.au/snapper