Fisheries Wary Over Snapper Stocks

The Department of Fisheries today raised concerns over the robustness of pink snapper stocks along the west coast.

On the back of an announcement around the annual closure for pink snapper fishing in Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds, DPIRD Fisheries Management Officer Shane Walters had the following message for fishers.

“It’s important fishers understand pink snapper have variable recruitment with only one to two strong years each decade and the majority of the current West Coast pink snapper catch is attributed to a good recruitment year in 2005”

Mr Walters said recent research into pink snapper spawning activity in the Sounds and recreational fishing activity targeting pink snapper aggregations, prior to the spawning closure, may require a review of the closure to ensure the species nursery is adequately protected.

Recreational fishers have a long history of protecting pink snapper stocks on the west coast, with the implementation of the Cockburn and Warnbro Sound spawning closures being driven by recreational fishers after witnessing large catches of spawning fish during spring.

Recfishwest will continue to work with Fisheries to ensure that snapper stocks are managed appropriately to ensure the current level of high quality fishing remains.

A stock assessment for all west coast demersal scalefish, including pink snapper is due shortly.

Read the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (Fisheries Division) media statement here.