Power in Numbers for Pink Snapper in Cockburn Sound

Perth’s metro Pink Snapper fishery has boomed in recent years and much of the credit should go to recreational fishers.  It was fishers who pushed for the seasonal closure to protect spawning fish that have proven to be the cornerstone of this popular fishery in recent years. Recfishwest considers this year’s closure to be one of the most important since its introduction in 2000, especially following the uncertainty of last year’s fish kill in Cockburn Sound on breeding stock.

The fishing community played a huge part in convincing the government to implement a spawning closure for Pink Snapper in Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds and this fishery is now considered by many, as one of the best managed fisheries in WA.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland remembers the day this Snapper closure first came into play and commended the fishing community for driving the important decision.

“If it wasn’t for the foresight of a proactive fishing community 16 years ago, the story may be a little different, it’s something we all should be proud of,” Dr Rowland said.

“Recfishwest’s purpose is to ensure there are great fishing experiences for the WA community forever and active management measures, such as protecting spawning fish, are critical to ensure we have healthy stocks for our kids and generations to come.”

“We saw heightened community emotion during last year’s fish kill event and the support from hundreds of Snapper Guardians, who helped fund the release of 50,000 Pink Snapper released into Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds in early 2016.”

Cockburn Sound, in particular, plays a key role offering awesome pinkie fishing for kayak, small boats and even shore anglers, making them available to all types of fishers. Anecdotal reports from fishers suggest the metro Pink Snapper fishery has improved each year since the closure was put in place and it has again offered some stellar fishing in 2016.  The annual closure of Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds comes into place to protect spawning fish in a couple of weeks, it runs from October 1 2016 to January 31, 2017.

The community can be very proud of the role they have played in the management of metro Pink Snapper. Their passion and support for protecting Snapper stocks were reflected in the State Government’s decision to commit $300,000 over the next two years for Recfishwest to again run the Snapper Guardians program. During the closure, we will again be collecting fertilised eggs and rearing them through the most venerable part of their life cycle before releasing juvenile fish in early 2017.

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