New Rules Unlock Pink Snapper in Shark Bay

Recfishwest welcomes the Minister for Fisheries Ken Baston’s decision to abolish the lottery based tag system for catching Pink Snapper in Shark Bay’s Freycinet Estuary.

The tag system was a restrictive management measure introduced in 2003 to the southern portion of Shark Bay’s western gulf (Freycinet Estuary) following an ongoing decline in Pink Snapper stocks.

New rules to allow improved access to Freycinet have been triggered after the latest fisheries assessment revealed a significant recovery of Pink Snapper stocks in the area.

Recfishwest’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Rowland said that Western Australia’s recreational fishers should be commended for their stewardship of the Pink Snapper resource following a decline of these iconic fish in the late nineties.

“The recreational fishing community is delighted to see the stocks return to such a healthy state,” Dr Rowland said.

“The Department of Fisheries has recognised the importance of Pink Snapper in Shark Bay, spoken with the local community and changed the rules to make fishing better.”

The tag system will be replaced with a special possession limit of five kilos of fillets or one day’s bag limit of whole fish per person for those visiting the Freycinet coast.

“The community care deeply about Pink Snapper and were keen to see the new rules align with the World Heritage values for which Shark Bay is recognised.”

“These new rules will allow more fishers to enjoy the fantastic fishing opportunities that Shark Bay has to offer while ensuring the health of the fishery for many years to come.” Dr Rowland said.

The new rules will come into effect on January 1, 2016.

Fact File (Map attached):

  • Lottery tag based system for Pink Snapper in Freycinet Estuary abolished after 12 years of enforcement
  • Daily Bag Limit for Freycinet is 2 per person per day (and all of Shark Bay)
  • New possession limit of 5kg of fillets or 1 days bag limit of whole fish applies to the Freycinet coast
  • Maximum size limit for Pink Snapper removed throughout Shark Bay

Freycinet Estuary Management Zone Press Release_20151112