State-wide finfish management review update

Coinciding with proposed changes to the west coast demersal fishery, the State Government also released proposals on State-wide finfish management changes which included a range of measures such as a decreased bag limit of three for demersal fish outside of the West Coast Bioregion (WCB). 

We share the community’s concerns about the impact the implementation of any final management decision for the west coast demersal scalefish fishery will have on areas outside the West Coast Bioregion.

However, we strongly believe further consultation is required before any changes to management regulations are made and have impressed this view upon Government.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said a State-wide management review would be welcomed, but it needed to be given the full and proper consideration it warranted. 

Recfishwest support developing and maintaining great fishing experiences for all in the community, forever,” he said. “Recfishwest acknowledges concern in recent years about the potential for localised depletion of important species in proximity to popular regional areas.   

“But we do not support DPIRD’s recent proposals as part of a State-wide review into finfish management and believe further consultation is required before any changes to management regulations are made.”    

A review of State-wide finfish management arrangements must look at action to address shark bite-off especially in the Gascoyne and North Coast Bioregions.

Further consultation expected

Recfishwest will be making the case to Government that further consultation should consider a range of factors including the following areas:  

  • Current possession limits;   
  • Current bag limits, especially in the South Coast Bioregion; 
  • The impact of removing boat limits for important recreational species such as coral trout and blue groper;  
  • Management regulations which force fishers to release fish that are unlikely to survive;  
  • Action to address shark depredation, especially in the Gascoyne and North Coast Bioregions;  
  • Current bioregional boundaries given a changing environment; and 
  • Understanding and incorporating social and economic values of recreational fishing into management frameworks.   

Andrew said, “Given the current community interest in finfish management outside the West Coast Bioregion and, given there are no current sustainability concerns for finfish outside the bioregion, we support further consultation with the community. This issue is too important to rush.”

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