Almost everyone has a story about the time they went fishing in Mandurah. It is a part of being West Australian. This highly valued waterway provides enjoyable, accessible and safe fishing experiences for locals and visitors alike. It has forever been a summertime escape for families wanting to get out and enjoy what Mandurah has to offer.
Recfishwest exists to protect great fishing experiences for the community forever. We’ve had significant concerns about current management arrangements for commercial Yellowfin Whiting fishing in the Peel Harvey Estuary for some time.
Current commercial catches for Yellowfin Whiting have been allowed to reach record levels, well beyond the threshold set out in the current harvest strategy for finfish in the Peel Harvey Estuary/
Recfishwest was heavily involved in the establishment of the harvest strategy for this fishery. This strategy was put in place to provide the public with confidence that community owned resources are being effectively managed.
Recfishwest and the community were involved in the negotiation and accepted the current catch threshold for this species. This was done in good faith and as a measure to protect the high level of fishing enjoyment a healthy stock provides. It’s disappointing that commercial catches of Yellowfin Whiting have been allowed to increase by over 250% since 2011. To now see the agreed threshold exceeded by more than double feels like the West Australian community have been robbed.
We believe these catch levels pose a significant risk to the quality of current and future fishing experiences in Mandurah. Fishing for Yellowfin Whiting is a key part of our culture and we are now calling for action to restore the balance.
While we understand the value and role commercial fishing plays in delivering fresh, local seafood to the market, we believe that unconstrained catches in such a small system such as the Peel Harvey Estuary no longer meet community expectations.
If Mandurah is to continue to provide fantastic fishing and we are to genuinely preserve what is so important to the West Australian lifestyle, then the time to act is now.
Recfishwest will be working with the Government to find an outcome that will restore the balance and protect amazing fishing experiences in Mandurah forever.