Third generation fisherman Dan Atherton.
Third generation fisherman Dan Atherton. Emma Murray

New quotas will 'destroy the industry'

A THIRD generation Mackay fisherman has told his sons there's no future in the industry if shock new quotas become a reality.

"It's not enough. The way the quotas are going the fishing is going to become non-viable for fishermen," Dan Atherton said.

"It'll destroy the industry. There will be nobody left by the end of it.

"We had no say really ... we never wanted quota."

Mr Atherton said it would push fishermen to get the best price for their catch, which could result in less supply for the Mackay area.

"You've got to get your maximum price for your fish, your maximum price for your crab because that's all you can catch," he said.

Mr Atherton said once each fisherman had reached their personal quota, which might only take weeks, they were able to lease more quota.

But he questioned whether there would even be any left.

"The way it's working out, there's going to be no quota to get," Mr Atherton said.

"It won't be enough to survive on."

Opposition Fisheries Minister Tony Perrett has spoken out against the proposal saying many commercial fishers will be "forced to leave the industry and lose their livelihoods".

"Under the proposed changes, crab fishery allocations will receive between 40 to 68 per cent of their average catch resulting in an average of 30 to 60 per cent loss of income."