The West Coast demersal fishing closure begins on 15 October and ends on 15 December to give high-value species like dhuies, pinkies and baldies a break from fishing pressure to help with their ongoing recovery.
But because you can’t target demersals in the West Coast, it doesn’t mean you have to stop fishing for one minute – there are are a plethora of alternative fishing opportunities available while the closure is in effect.
Some of these include crayfish, southern bluefin tuna, squid, freshwater fishing, Samson fish, whiting, estuarine and beach species like flathead, tailor and mulloway.
So whether you’re looking for your drag to sing, targeting a new species you’ve never caught before or chase a tasty feed, there’s something out there for you.
Catch and release for demersals is not OK
While we await the Department of Regional Development and Primary Industry’s latest stock assessment for West Coast demersal scalefish, it’s important anglers continue to stick to the closure by not fishing for demersals to assist with their ongoing recovery.
This includes not targeting demersals for catch and release purposes as the survival rate for many of these species following their release is not great for a number of reasons including barotrauma, hooking injuries and being knocked off by sharks – all of which impacts on the stocks’ health.