A 100-day-old pink snapper swimming through the seagrass meadows of Cockburn Sound – one of the most important nursery habitats based on the city’s doorstep.
Snapped by talented photographer Colby Bignell, the underwater photo of the snapper captures how the Sound is so critical to fish species such as snapper, squid, herring and blue swimmer crabs.
This little fish was one of the 100,000 juvenile pink snapper released into metro waters over four days this month, as part of the ongoing metro snapper stocking program.
It was great to be able to release some of these pink snapper at Cockburn Power Boats Club and Fremantle Sailing Club, with respective club members lending a helping hand.
This is the ongoing legacy of Snapper Guardians launched in 2015, following the devastating Cockburn Sound fish kill — which effectively established a community-based fish stocking program and has seen hundreds of thousands of pink snapper released into Cockburn Sound since the first community crowd-funded release event.
See some of the photos here! 📸 Colby Bignell / Zach Relph
These pink snapper were hatched and reared at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) aquaculture centre, near Fremantle.
Recfishwest is keen to help DPIRD’s aquaculture experts release more pinkies, with the State Government committing to another two years of stocking pinkies in metropolitan waters.
This commitment also includes scientific research into the effectiveness of the stocking program.
With more fish set to be released and scientific research in the pipeline, this is a major win for the fishing community.
It truly is a testament to all the community support Recfishwest has received for the Snapper Guardians program since it was launched seven years ago.
It also reflects the passion the local community has for protecting Cockburn Sound — a very unique, safe and accessible aquatic habitat on the city’s doorstep providing a multitude of fishing opportunities for young and old — from boats, kayaks and from the shore.
WATCH: The Snapper Guardians story — celebrating the fishing community’s love for Cockburn Sound!
In case you’ve missed it, be sure to check out this awesome short-film on Snapper Guardians.
Recfishwest worked with local filmmaker and keen fisher Craig Wells to produce the five-minute feature, illustrating the Snapper Guardians story and the community’s resounding support.
The film gives a great insight into how DPIRD’s aquaculture experts collect snapper eggs, before hatching and rearing the fish for them to be safely released back into the ocean.
It also shows how much the WA recreational fish community cares about snapper and the unique, safe and productive environment of Cockburn Sound.
Recfishwest thanks all the Snapper Guardians who have supported the initiative since its inception and our community fish stocking partners, Daiwa Australia.
Thank you to the Cockburn Power Boats Club and Fremantle Sailing Club, and of course the fishing community, for supporting the snapper stocking program – it has helped make everything possible.