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Does Recfishwest make the recreational fishing rules?

The Western Australian Department of Fisheries gazettes recreational fishing rules, that in consultation with Recfishwest are made to best manage the states fisheries. Recfishwest delivers independent expert advice on fisheries management issues to government that help shape recreational fishing rules.

Can I buy my fishing licence from Recfishwest?

No. Any recreational fishing that requires a licence can be obtained from the Western Australian Department of Fisheries.

What’s the difference between Recfishwest and the Department of Fisheries?

Recfishwest is a not-for-profit community based organisation that strives to ensure high quality fishing experiences are maintained and enjoyed, as an integral part of the WA lifestyle. We are the peak body of recreational fishing and represent over 740,000 recreational fishers in the state.

The Department of Fisheries’ primary responsibility is to conserve, develop and manage the fish and aquatic resources of Western Australia to ensure there are ‘fish for the future’.

They do this through managing and licensing commercial and recreational fishing activities and protecting the aquatic environment and ecosystems on which fish depend.

Do you only deal with fishing or do you help look after WA’s aquatic environments?

At Recfishwest, we believe that fishing is all about looking after the aquatic environment. If we don’t have a healthy environment, we won’t have fish – simple! We partner with organisations such as the Swan River Trust, Save our Fish Stocks and the South-west Catchment Council, and work toward improving environmental practices associated with recreational fishing. This involves everything from providing fishing line disposal bins, to clean-up days, to education and awareness campaigns, and information materials for recreational fishers. We have provided funding to groups such as the WA Trout and Freshwater Angling Association for the rehabilitation of eroded streams and the removal of invasive weeds. We also encourage innovation in habitat restoration and enhancement by providing scholarships to Honours students through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund. At Recfishwest, we believe all recreational fishers have an important stewardship role for their aquatic environment.

Apart from fishing clinics, what else does Recfishwest do?

Our fishing clinics are an important education tool for teaching our younger generation about aquatic conservation, fish handling and safety. In addition to fishing clinics Recfishwest advocates for access rights, for example the “Don’t Lock us Out” campaign rallied against government plans to enforce wide-spread marine sanctuary zones based on little science. We also work with government to ensure that a portion of Recreational licence fees are set aside specifically for investment back into bettering recreational fishing through habitat enhancement, fish stocking, and research. We also provide strategic direction and oversight on the administration and implementation of this funding, known as the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.

Recfishwest also takes on a broader consultation role with both the recreation and charter sectors, and provides consolidated advice to the Department of Fisheries and other relevant stakeholders on management changes and fisheries issues. For example, through consultation with our Western Rock Lobster Reference Group we were able to provide informed advice to the Department of Fisheries on recommended changes to the Western Rock Lobster fishery to ensure that recreational fishers had better access to their catch share. These recommendations were adopted and included an increase in bag limit, decreased escape gap size, longer open season, and a higher boat limit. We are always looking for innovative ways to improve our advocacy role and educational reach.

I’ve seen a few Recfishwest shirts around and want to know how can I get one?

To receive a Recfishwest T-shirt, all you have to do is sign up to become a financial member. But not only do you get a limited edition Recfishwest T-shirt, you also receive a Halco Laser Pro lure, members only weekly Fishing Report and Forecast and our monthly Enews. Plus you get the right to vote at our AGM. To become a member now, click here.

I’m new to WA and have no idea where to fish or how to catch a fish, can you help?

This is something we can help you with! Our website has a whole heap of ‘How to Catch‘ tips and techniques, along with some great locations to wet a line, for both novice and pro fishers. Our job is to make your fishing experiences better and we hope our website brings you one step closer to landing your first WA fish.

Do marine parks help preserve fish numbers for future fishing opportunities or limit fishing areas?

In general, recreational fishers are not opposed to the creation of Marine Protected Areas. Indeed, Recfishwest is a strong supporter of the establishment of conservation areas to preserve the high value marine environments. Recfishwest promotes the appropriate protection of high value conservation areas of in Western Australia.

Recreational fishers recognise the difficult challenge governments face when seeking to achieve a balance between biodiversity conservation and access to marine resources. This is particularly relevant given the current uncertainty that surrounds the extent of biodiversity in Western Australia and the nature and extent of the impact that recreational fishing is having on that biodiversity.

My friends all receive the monthly Enews and your Fishing Forecasts. How do I receive them?

It’s FREE to join Recfishwest to receive both of these services. The monthly Enews comes out the first week of each month, while the Fishing Forecasts are sent to your personal email each Friday before lunch. These Fishing Forecasts are a members only service on the Friday, keeping you ahead of the game, for the upcoming weekend! Click here to join us!