An update on Carnarvon’s proposed pink snapper season closure

In the most recent Broadcast e-newsletter, Recfishwest asked WA’s recfishing community their thoughts on a potential three-month closure to protect pink snapper spawning aggregations in the Gascoyne.

This follows a recent stock assessment completed by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, which indicated a risk to snapper sustainability – in turn creating a concern for both Recfishwest and the Carnarvon fishing community.

A pink snapper spawning aggregation in Cockburn Sound during its spawning closure.

Pink snapper are the lifeblood of recreational fishing in the Gascoyne and provide fantastic opportunity for both local and visiting fishers to tussle with a hard fighting, yet accessible sportfish that is also rated highly on the plate.

The pinkie proposal

DPIRD proposed a closure to pink snapper fishing north of Bernier Island, including Koks Island, during the peak spawning period from 1 June to 31 August. Bernier Island is located approximately 50km off the coast from Carnarvon.

Similar closures have been effective in protecting pink snapper aggregations in Cockburn and Warnbro sounds in the Perth metropolitan area and the inner gulfs of Shark Bay.

The proposed closed area represents about 2 per cent to 4 per cent of the total area fished by all sectors in the Gascoyne Coast Bioregion. However, up to 70 per cent of the commercial pink snapper catch is taken from these waters during the peak spawning period.

This proposal does not impact on fishing for other species, such as coral trout and red emperor. Read DPIRD’s full proposal here.

Community Feedback and Our Position

The people of Carnarvon love fishing and genuinely care about healthy fisheries. Local fishers have shown an overwhelming willingness to be part of the solution for recovering the pink snapper fishery. This was highlighted in the responses to our community survey which indicated 96 per cent support for the proposal to protect pink snapper spawning aggregations.

After reviewing the community responses, we’re happy to provide you with our response back to Government on the proposed spawning closure. Recfishwest supports this proposal and believes it is important to protect this pink snapper breeding stock to ensure great fishing experiences for all in the West Australian community forever.

Read Recfishwest’s advice to DPIRD regarding the proposal here!

Pinkies are an important fish species which must be protected.