You would be hard pressed to find a recreational fisher in WA without a Herring story. These little fish are the heroes and life blood of fishing in WA and an important part of our culture.
This is why, in 2014, Recfishwest embraced changes to Herring management which helped ensure sustainability by allowing hundreds of tonnes of additional Herring to spawn every year. The Minister for Fisheries Joe Francis recently confirmed that current management controls for Australian Herring will remain.
This means: The recreational bag limit of 12 Herring will continue. The relatively low valued trap net Herring fishery, which was catching two out of every three Herring caught in WA and selling a large portion as a low-value crayfish bait will remain closed.
These measures were adopted after stock assessment revealed Herring stocks were at risk. The results of a recent review of Herring indicate that management intervention is still required to support Herring stock recovery. The current arrangements are deemed appropriate, having already proved sufficient in meeting the catch reduction requirements.
The Ministers decision reflects our belief that Herring are far more valuable on the end of a kids fishing line than as bait in the bottom of a cray pot. Australian Herring represent a far greater value to recreational fishers as a safe and accessible inshore species for fishers of all abilities to enjoy.
Recfishwest is pleased to see that the government continues to prioritise the use of Herring for recreational and human consumption purposes in line with community expectations.