WA ban on "high risk" species starts today

New bag limits and a two month ban on “high risk” demersal scalefish apply in West Coast bioregion

WA ban on "high risk" species starts today
WA ban on “high risk” species starts today

Fisheries and marine officers will be out and about on WA’s
West Coast bioregion today to enforce the new seasonal closure for "high risk" demersal scalefish.

During this two-month period, recreational fishers will be banned from taking "high risk" demersal species from the waters of the West Coast bioregion. The ban applies from Zuytdorp Cliffs, north of Kalbarri (26° 30’S), to the South Coast, at Black Point, near Augusta (115° 30’E).

The Department of Fisheries has advised that effective action is needed to protect the future of these popular species, and the decision to implement the ban follows independent reviews of West Coast demersal scalefish management.

The commercial fishing sector, which operates under separate management arrangements, has already reduced its required take by 50 per cent.

Strategic compliance manager Tina Thorne said the new arrangements were designed to reduce the recreational fishing take of "high risk" demersal species by 50 per cent.

"Fisheries and marine officers will be monitoring fishing activity, between October 15 and December 15, to ensure the seasonal closure is not being ignored," said Thorne.

"Infringement notices of $400 could be issued to recreational fishers. More serious offenders could be prosecuted, with proven fisheries offences, related to closed season fishing breaches, attracting a fine of up to $5000 for a first offence, plus a mandatory penalty amounting to 10 times the prescribed value of the fish by weight or by number.

"There has been significant media coverage about this closure and the decision to introduce it, so we expect people to comply with the new rules from day one.

"All recreational fishers need to play their part and treat these vulnerable stocks with a sense of responsibility and stewardship."

The following changes to bag limits also apply as of today today:

· The combined bag limit for "medium risk" fish (including tailor, skippy and King George whiting), is reduced from 16 to 12.

· The combined bag limit for "lower risk" species (including herring, sand whiting and garfish) is reduced from 40 to 30.

Visit www.fishforthefuture.com.au or call 1800 726 586 for more information.


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