Recfishwest recommends increasing the herring bag limit to 20

Fishers are supportive of increasing the herring bag limit to 20, our survey has found, with Recfishwest encouraging Fisheries Minister Don Punch to heed and act upon fishers’ calls.

Recfishwest sees this as an important step to take in the interim period ahead of the establishment of the herring working group process recently announced by Minister Punch.

As a result, Recfishwest has written to Minister Punch, recommending an immediate bag limit increase to 20 to begin with, after more than 4,000 fishers responded to the Recfishwest-led survey.

“Herring are the most important fish species in WA,” Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said.

“That’s why it was no surprise to see such a strong response from the recfishing community to our herring bag limit survey last month.

“With such a high response rate and from the comments provided by many responding to the survey, it was encouraging to see how much people value herring and care about the species’ future.”

The main headlines from the survey was:

  • 27 per cent of respondents favoured the bag limit staying at 12;
  • The majority — 32 per cent — called for an increase to 20; and,
  • 11 per cent called for a return to the former bag limit of 30.
A bar graph showing herring survey outcome. Note the zero per cent figures have been rounded down to zero as they are negligible percentages.

“Herring are the ultimate bread-and-butter species — fun to catch, great to eat and are found in safe and accessible waters,” Dr Rowland said.

“It really doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, new to fishing or a seasoned angler, herring provide fantastic fishing experiences and have launched many an angling career!

“It’s no wonder they hold a special place in the hearts of so many West Aussies.”

In the letter, Recfishwest also called for future management decisions on herring to be guided by future stock assessments, community sentiment and the outcomes of a herring working group.

Following latest herring stock assessment, Minister Punch wrote to Recfishwest confirming the State Government would continue to prioritise herring for recreational and human consumption.

Minister Punch also informed Recfishwest a herring working group, which will include Recfishwest, would be established to develop a strategy to guide the future management of herring.

“We want herring stocks to remain abundant and our recommendation ensures exactly that, meaning the next-gen of fishers will be able to continue to catch these great fish,” Dr Rowland said.

“The team at Recfishwest is keen to be involved in the working group to develop a comprehensive strategy for the future management of herring.

“As always, we will keep you updated as this process progresses.”

Herring are the most important fish species in WA.

Herring survey – some of the things you told us:

Responder 1: “Let’s let the stocks recover further and promote a healthier ocean and forward-thinking attitude. It’s great to see the herring schooling even if you’re not a fisherman and just taking a swim at the beach.”

Responder 2: “Let us leave our children a sustainable fishery so they can enjoy the pleasure of catching a great little fighter and enjoy a tasty cook-up of fresh herring. My childhood was spent doing just that.”

Responder 3: “My wife and I are regular herring fishers here in Mandurah. The number of people fishing for herring over the years has increased five-fold, and I believe a bag limit of 20 herring would be sufficient.”

Responder 4: “This year has been one of the best years for herring in memory for the amount of herring finding them plentiful in all areas raising the limit would be great.”

Responder 5: “…the enjoyment and use by locals… not to be netted for food for fish farms, cat food or bait for crayfish. What is better for us than fresh air, exercise and fresh fish to eat?”

Responder 6: “I spend countless hours on the water every year and I have noticed the change in herring stocks in recent times. There are great numbers on the south coast.”

Continue Reading

May 29, 2024

Popular fishing jetties around WA set to benefit from the budget

Jetties are the heart of local coastal communities, providing accessible fishing for everyone and essential nearshore habitat for a range of important fish species.   In good news for fishers, numerous jetties…

Read More

May 22, 2024

The past, present and future of WA’s artificial reefs and Recfishwest’s role!

Ever wanted to know the history of how artificial reefs became so successful around the world and the future reefs set to make a splash off our coastline?   Mark Pagano (DPIRD’s Aquatic Resource Management) has…

Read More

May 14, 2024

Metro fishers urged to have their say on South Mole vehicle access

Cherished land-based fishing spot South Mole in Fremantle is now open to foot-traffic only after having been closed in mid-March.    Recfishwest has requested Fremantle Ports restore vehicle access to South Mole…

Read More

May 02, 2024

Recfishwest says “NO” to Offshore Wind Energy development in Geographe Bay’s critical fish habitat

Recfishwest has told the Commonwealth Government that important fish habitat and fishing grounds in Geographe Bay are strictly off limits for Offshore Wind Energy developments.  In February, the Commonwealth…

Read More

May 01, 2024

Five new cutting-edge FADs provide great new sportfishing opportunities for Port Hedland fishers!

Pilbara fishers have received a fantastic boost for offshore fishing options following the installation of five Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs) off the Port Hedland coast. The new FADs were anchored in position…

Read More

April 23, 2024

How 200 metre setbacks could help protect access to cherished land-based fishing spots on our South Coast

There is nothing quite like standing on a south coast beach, rod in hand, facing the salt spray as the water laps at your feet. Dreams of mulloway, salmon, big tailor and skippy, or maybe a snapper often become a…

Read More