Protection Status to Give a Ray of Hope
If you’ve holidayed anywhere on the coast of WA, especially the south coast, there’s a fair chance you may have come across some inquisitive gentle giants of the sea, the humble stingray.
Two of the most spectacular species, the black and smooth stingrays are now protected under newly introduced regulations, in both the West Coast and South Coast Bioregions of Western Australia.
Fishermen now must release the rays immediately if caught under the new regulations.
Recfishwest Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Rowland said fishers acknowledged the tourism and conservation value of large tame residential stingrays, particularly in holiday locations such as the Hardy, Walpole and Nornalup Inlets on the South Coast and along the West Coast in areas such as Rottnest Island, Lancelin and Jurien Bay.
“Having the opportunity to see and interact with large stingrays at close quarters while out fishing adds to the overall enjoyment of the outdoor experience.” Dr Rowland said.
“Recreational fishers support protecting these species and their associated values in a case of recreational fishermen doing their bit for marine conservation.”
“Hamelin Bay is already a protected area for all ray and skate species, but this change now preserves the communities’ ability to interact with large resident stingrays at other popular interaction areas, and the department has worked closely with Recfishwest in developing this new regulation.”
The new rules only affect the smooth and black stingray species with recreational fishers still able to fish for other stingray species but are reminded to take care when catching and releasing a stingray due to its dangerous tail sting.