REFORM FEARS: There will be plenty of information at the Seafood Festival about how the State Government's proposed fishing reforms will affect Fraser Coast consumers.
REFORM FEARS: There will be plenty of information at the Seafood Festival about how the State Government's proposed fishing reforms will affect Fraser Coast consumers. Blake Antrobus

Seafood Festival to inform consumers on fishing reforms

SEAFOOD isn't the only thing on the minds of organisers at the Hervey Bay Seafood Festival.

There will also be a plethora of information on hand about the unprecedented reforms facing commercial fishermen and consumers, said festival co-ordinator Elaine Lewthwaite.

The proposed government reforms impact some of the state's most important fisheries - the trawl, crab and east coast inshore fisheries. They include new quotas for individual operators, new size limits for pearl perch and king threadfin, seasonal closures for snapper, new mud crab limits and banning lightweight crab pots.

Ms Lewthwaite said knowledge is power when it comes to Fraser Coast residents supporting the local industry.

"This is a great time to connect with the consumer, so they know that even they will be impacted by fisheries reform," she said.

"It's a time to celebrate, but it's also a time to share our view on what the future looks like because there's changes to how people buy seafood and how much is available in the future.

"The seafood festival has a very important part to play and there will be loads of information there, on the pros and the cons."

Fishermen from around the state will also be on hand to have a chat and share their views.

"For fishermen along the Queensland coast there will be varying impacts," she said.

"We just have to wait and see how it pans out because there's nothing locked in as such yet but the proposal has the potential to create a system where some people have a lot and some people will have nothing, and as Queenslanders, we like to have fairness."

Ms Lewthwaite said it was the kind of reform that "touches the soul".

"There is no use hiding from the fact that there will be massive changes. I see the seafood festival as really important because it is a time for the consumer to gain more knowledge about how their ability to buy seafood may be impacted," she said.

"It's not just us as fishermen, even for how restaurateurs will be supplied seafood right along the coast, it affects tourism.

"If it's not caught, you don't buy it or the restaurant doesn't serve it."