Seafood shops take local fish off menu in protest

SEVERAL specialist seafood shops in central Queensland will voluntarily take some items off the menu this week to protest the proposed net-free fishing zones.

The move is part of a campaign run by the Queensland Seafood Industry Association.

Net-free zones will be introduced on November 1, with the largest zone covering down to the northern tip of Curtis Island.

The QSIA claims a lack of local fish might be "a taste of things to come" when three areas are closed to net-fishing. 

Industry spokesman Dave Swindells said the shops were taking part in a voluntary "fresh fish boycott".

"The varieties that people won't find in the windows this week are the region's popular estuary fish, including barramundi, king threadfin, blue salmon, diamond-scale mullet and flake," Mr Swindells said.

"These are the fish that local commercial fishermen will no longer be able to catch in a 1500 sq km area taking in the entire Fitzroy River and delta, Port Alma and Corio Bay and out to sea past the Keppel Islands.

"Seafood consumers receive more than 250 tonnes of fish from the area every year and this will all be lost to the public if the net-fishing bans engineered by recreational fishing lobbyists are imposed."

Mr Swindells, a board member of the QSIA, said specialist seafood shops in Rockhampton, Rosslyn Bay, Mackay and Bundaberg were taking part in the boycott.

It will run until Sunday.