Recfishwest welcomes Fisheries Minister’s west coast demersal reallocation decision

Recfishwest welcomes today’s decision by Fisheries Minister Don Punch to reallocate 20 tonnes of the west coast demersal catch to the recfishing sector – just over a year after changes to the fishery were made. 

Fast facts

  • Fisheries Minister makes unprecedented move to reallocate 20 tonnes of west coast demersal fish to the recfishing sector following voluntary buy-back of fishing entitlement from commercial fishers.
  • The shift in fisheries policy, coming after a decade of sustained effort by Recfishwest and recfishers,  is a “positive and encouraging step toward fairer management of the fishery” says Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland.
  • The decision will result in more time on the water for recfishers and help prevent several small charter operators from going under.


CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said, “This is an unprecedented shift in fisheries management policy and a positive and encouraging step towards fairer management of this fishery.” 


Great demersal fishing experiences and memories of a lifetime. Photo credit: Al Bevan/Shikari Charters.


Recfishwest has consistently called for reallocation since the existing share of the fishery (64% commercial, 36% recreational and charter) was determined in 2012.  


Commitments made to review this allocation “as soon as practical”, or every five years have never materialised.  


However, today’s announcement will finally see a readjustment of the shares of the sustainable catch to 59% for the commercial fishing sector and 41% for the recreational fishing sector.  


Andrew said, “After a decade of sustained effort towards formal reallocation in our West Australian fisheries, this is a great start and we thank the Minister for this decision.”     


For trailer boat fishing mums, dads and mates, today’s decision will see the current September demersal open season extended to a month from the 16th of September to the 15th of October. 

Recfishwest’s request for the charter sector to be allocated 10 tonnes more fish was also met by Minister Punch. 


“Recfishwest’s objective has always been for more time on the water for recfishers and a fairer go for smaller charter operators, and today’s announcement takes us closer to a fair and balanced fishery,” said Andrew.


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