Abalone fishers revving up to hit the reefs for opening day of newly expanded metro season

WA abalone fishers are gearing up to hit the metro reefs this Saturday to get stuck into a great fishery on Perth’s doorstep.

Abalone enthusiasts flock to abalone hotspots along the Perth coast once the season opens each year.

The metro season kicks off on Saturday morning with fishing permitted from 7am to 8am.

As we reported recently, a careful fisheries management plan for the prized fishery laid the foundations for recruitment levels of Roe’s abalone returning to levels prior to the marine heatwave in 2010/11.

As a result, WA abalone fishers will be enjoying the return of a fifth day of abalone fishing in the metro zone this summer.

A decision was made in 2015 to protect abalone stocks by reducing the bag limit from 20 to 15 and adding in a 20-tonne total allowable catch limit that effectively reduced the season from five to four days

And the key ingredient in the stocks’ recovery can be attributed to the abalone fishers themselves, said Recfishwest Business Development and Partnerships Manager Tim Grose.

“Abalone fishers value the abalone stocks in Perth’s backyard highly,” Tim said.

“As a result they care about the stocks and have stuck to the rules that have lead to the recovery of recruitment levels.

Recfishwest’s Tim Grose and Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley at today’s media event. Picture: Recfishwest

“Conditions are looking good for this Saturday and it’s going to be great to see thousands of ab fishers heading for the reefs to safely collect a feed of this sought-after shellfish.”

Tim attended a media event with Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley at Trigg this morning to highlight the importance of the fishery to the WA community.

He said Recfishwest would continue to work hard to improve access to abalone as the fishery continues to move in the right direction.

“We understand how much people love to collect abs – it’s a big part of summer in the city for them – and we’ll carry on doing our bit to make the experience an even richer one, as the stocks continue to recover,” he said.

Licensed abalone recfishers can catch abalone in the metro zone, from Guilderton to Busselton across five Saturdays, between 7am and 8am on the following days:

  • 12 December;
  • 9 January;
  • 23 January;
  • 6 February; and,
  • 20 February.
The metro abalone fishery, on Perth’s doorstep, is highly valued. Picture: Recfishwest

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