Environmental watchdog backs protecting Exmouth Gulf’s wilderness fishing experience

Carefully observing the extended sand flat’s clear waters for predators patrolling the shallows. Permit, bonefish, giant herring, queenfish and many brute trevally species are lurking nearby, ready to take your fly or lure.

No one else is in sight. This is WA wilderness fishing at its peak. This is Exmouth Gulf.

Glenn Edwards is among fishers who love immersing themselves in the Gulf’s wilderness experience.

Exmouth Gulf is hugely important for WA fishers in the Gascoyne and beyond, with the unique and easily accessible wilderness fishing experience it offers.

With its fish-rich shallow waters, mangrove-lined creek system, numerous shoals and scattered reef, it’s a magnet for dedicated sportfishers targeting a plethora of species in a spectacular and secluded setting.

That’s why the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) findings about the potential cumulative impacts of industrial activities and developments proposed for Exmouth Gulf are great news for fishers.

The EPA’s report, released last Friday, recognised:

  • The key amenity values of Exmouth Gulf include wilderness qualities and the local community’s ability to access and use the Gulf for recreational activities;
  • Any future activities and development must be compatible with the protection of the key values; and
  • An integrated management approach is required to ensure the conservation and enhancement of the key values of Exmouth Gulf.

Read the EPA’s report in full here

Queenies are just one of many sought-after species on offer to avid sportfishers in the Exmouth Gulf.

Industrialising the Gulf – a ludicrous thought

“As we have consistently said the thought of developing an industrial footprint over one of the WA’s most accessible and unspoilt fishing areas is ludicrous,” Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said.

In September, we asked: ‘Why put this precious wilderness experience at risk?’ when the EPA’s cumulative impact study was announced.

“In our submission to the study, we strongly made the case that the prized fishing Exmouth Gulf has to offer is underpinned by its wilderness value and it’s great that the EPA has specifically acknowledged this. Furthermore, the EPA appears to share our view that industrialisation of the Gulf would compromise that wilderness quality.

“Indeed, the EPA’s recommendation that future activities and developments in the Gulf be compatible with the protection of key values is a principle that should apply to developments everywhere.

“Now, as active contributors into this EPA review process, Recfishwest looks forward to continuing in future discussions about how the values provided by Exmouth Gulf can be protected, forever.”

Continue Reading

May 30, 2023

Spotting sharks on your sounder to help reduce bite-offs

“The taxman”, “the men in grey suits” or just plain old “bloody sharks.” Whatever you call them, sharks biting off your prized catch as you bring it into the boat can be the bane of many fishers’ fishing trips…

Read More

May 05, 2023

West coast demersal $10m support package – a golden opportunity to support better decisions that cannot be missed

As the dust settles on the new fishing rules for west coast demersals, Recfishwest says the Government has got to get right the way $10 million of public money is spent on supporting the fishery. The Government…

Read More

May 05, 2023

Scott’s south coast gems

The south coast is a delightful part of the world, especially at this time of year. Autumn truly is the time to enjoy everything it has to offer, with the best weather of the year featuring still, warm day days and…

Read More

May 05, 2023

Jurien Bay FADs fire up, bringing great new fishing options to the Mid-West

The sportfishing action in Jurien Bay has cranked up since the deployment of four FADs off the coastline!  It is great to see fishers reap the benefits of catches from FADs across WA, with Recfishwest and local…

Read More

May 04, 2023

A tale of two jetties

All too often, we see prized fishing jetties desperately needing TLC and restoration abandoned, left to rot or demolished as the red tape around who is responsible in managing and maintaining them puts them in the…

Read More

May 04, 2023

Partners playing a huge role in helping us make fishing better in WA

Outside of our core funding contribution from recreational fishing licence fees via DPIRD, a growing range of valued partners are helping us do more for West Aussie fishers in 2023. Without additional support for…

Read More