Recfishwest has recently received correspondence from the Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley, seeking our advice and views on whether the current State-wide possession limit levels are still appropriate.
This comes after a noticeable increase in people travelling along the coastline north of Perth in recent months has lead to some community concerns that this is leading to more fishing pressure on our fish stocks.
In a letter to Recfishwest, the Minister said:
“Since regional travel restrictions began to ease in early May, many regional town centres have experienced an influx in domestic tourism which has provided a much-needed economic stimulus for these communities.
“However, this has also resulted in a significant increase in recreational fishing participation across the State, to the extent that several regional communities are now concerned about the levels of fish being landed and the impact this may be having on local fish populations.
“In light of this recent change, l am seeking the views of Recfishwest on the appropriateness of proactive management to ensure all Western Australians can continue to enjoy healthy fish stocks and the lifestyle benefits that recreational fishing brings. In particular, I am interested in Recfishwest’s views on reviewing the current State-wide finfish possession limit as a means to ensure recreational fishers share the available catch evenly.”
The current State-wide possession limit of 20kg of fillets or two day’s bag limit of whole fish was established to allow fishers to keep enough fish to feed their immediate family. This current limit was put in place in 2003 to prevent the stockpiling of large quantities of fish.
Recfishwest is keen to hear fishers’ views on whether they think the current State-wide possession limit is enough, too much or too little for their next fishing trip, and/or any other ideas and recommendations they may have in response to the concerns that have been raised.
Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said: “It should be recognised that recfishing contributes $2.4b to the WA economy annually and, with border restrictions in place, fishing is now more important than ever for economic activity and jobs in some of the State’s coastal towns.
“It’s also important to note that Recfishwest does not believe this is a broad-scale sustainability issue. However, it is possible in some popular tourist destinations local fish stocks are under increased fishing pressure leading to localised depletion. We firmly believe and advocate for healthy and abundant fish populations to ensure quality fishing experiences.”
Recfishwest has developed a short survey seeking fishers’ views on this important issue to better form our position and provide well-informed feedback to the Minister.
You can take the survey by clicking here – in order to provide timely advice to the Minister, the survey will be running for one week only.