Snapper Guardians 2024 not going ahead due to hatchery virus

This year’s Snapper Guardians community fish stocking event, planned to be held at Woodman Point in Cockburn Sound, will regrettably not be going ahead.

Unfortunately, a finfish virus – betandovirus – was detected at DPIRD’s Fremantle hatchery where the juvenile pink snapper are hatched and reared.

This means, in order to protect Cockburn Sound’s wild pink snapper stocks, unfortunately none of the infected fish can be released.

READ DPIRD’S MEDIA RELEASE HERE

Snapper Guardians sees hundreds of mums, dads and kids helping stock thousands of juvenile pink snapper into Cockburn Sound each year. Unfortunately, we’ve had to pull the plug on the 2024 event due to a virus affecting the snapper set for release.

It is obviously a disappointing setback for Snapper Guardians and the wider metro pink snapper fish releases as no pink snapper will be available for release this year. This is because the snapper stocking program relies on collecting eggs from the wild spawning population in October and November each year.

However, Recfishwest will be working with DPIRD to ensure the pink snapper stocking program gets back on track soon, in addition to other stocking initiatives for several other species.

Recfishwest Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Rowland said while it was disappointing Snapper Guardians cannot go ahead this year, the priority is to protect the health of wild pink snapper stocks in Cockburn Sound.

“Since the Snapper Guardians program started in 2016, more than 220,000 pink snapper have been released into Cockburn Sound providing a family-friendly opportunity to celebrate pink snapper, Cockburn Sound and to make sure we have plenty of fish for future generations,” he said.

“We look forward to bringing back the Snapper Guardians community fish stocking event in 2025. Recfishwest will continue to work with DPIRD on other stock enhancement programs including yellowtail kingfish, marron and trout to ensure high quality recreational fishing experiences are maintained and enhanced for all West Australians to enjoy.”

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