Town of Cambridge’s ridiculous proposal to ban all forms of land-based fishing

The push from the Town of Cambridge to ban all forms of land-based fishing along a popular fishing coastline between City Beach and Floreat has been slammed by the metro fishing community.  

Last week, the Town of Cambridge pushed to ban all forms of land-based fishing in just over two weeks’ time along a 1,200m stretch of popular fishing coastline from around 50m south of the City Beach groyne up to the Floreat Surf Lifesaving Club to the north.  

This stretch of coastline has provided some of Perth’s best land-based fishing experiences for generations and includes Floreat beach, which has been a much-loved fishing spot known for producing great catches of whiting, herring, tarwhine, tailor and mulloway.  

It follows what the Town of Cambridge says is a number of shark fishing instances in the area over the summer, despite only one complaint on this along the same stretch between January 2022 and January 2023.  

“It’s utterly ridiculous and ludicrous by the local Government and they don’t have the understanding, the ability or the knowledge of fishing to be able to create good public policy around fishing. To ban all fishing because the council have an issue with sharks is akin to stopping all cars on the road because there is an issue with speeding. It’s just bizarre that they would go down this pathway,” said Recfishwest Operations Manager Leyland Campbell on ABC Mornings last week with Nadia Mitsopoulos. 

Floreat beach is included in part of the 1,200m stretch of coastline where the Town of Cambridge wants to ban all forms of fishing. This metro fishing spot has provided great catches of whiting, herring, tailor and mulloway for generations and Recfishwest will fight to ensure it stays that way.

Listen to Leyland’s interview discussing this on the ABC here 

“This council proposal would stop little kids from having a dab net walking around the groyne and going for crabs or fishing for herring and whiting off the beach, it’s just madness. This is a State issue and it should be managed through State fisheries legislation. 

“This stretch is one of the most iconic beach fishing locations in the Perth metro area and this is just an overreaction that completely ignores all the wellbeing, health and economic benefits that fishing provides. There has been no consulation with Recfishwest as the peak body for recreational fishing on this proposal.”  

This contentious proposal has been widely condemned by the metro fishing community, with 6PR announcer Karl Langdon labelling the proposed ban an “absolute joke” and adding the groynes in this area are “one of the most accessible fishing platforms for parents to teach their kids how to fish and for those that are less able-bodied.”  

Recfishwest recognises shore-based fishing for large “trophy” sharks (greater than three metres) at popular swimming beaches does not meet the community’s expectations of responsible behavior and is currently in discussion with the Minister for Fisheries on how best to address this specific matter.  

Recfishwest believe State-based Fisheries legislation is and should remain the overriding legislation governing fisheries in Western Australia and LGA’s should stick to managing roads, rubbish and rates and leave recreational fisheries management to the State. 

This ludicrous proposal will be open for public comment soon and we will keep you updated and informed on how you can tell the Town of Cambridge exactly what you think. We will continue to fight for the rights of recreational fishers across WA and together we can put a stop to this outrageous proposal – stay tuned. 

The 1,200m stretch of coastline provides fantastic metro catches such as this tailor landed from Floreat and Recfishwest will fight to ensure fishing accessibility is untouched in this area. Photo Credit: Jake Rotham

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