UPDATE: 2021 Snapper Guardians event this Saturday – CANCELLED

UPDATE: 2021 Snapper Guardians CANCELLED due to COVID-19 restrictions

Due to the snap COVID-19 restrictions announced by Premier Mark McGowan yesterday, Recfishwest has regrettably taken the decision to cancel the community Snapper Guardians event scheduled for this Saturday, 6 February.

The lockdown means Recfishwest can’t properly prepare for Saturday’s release and, with the uncertainty around the current situation, it would be unwise to press ahead in holding a public event.

Recfishwest will look at alternative plans for releasing the fish when we have clarity about what (if any) COVID-19 restrictions will apply in the weeks ahead.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said: “Snapper Guardians is always a popular event reflecting how important Cockburn Sound’s pink snapper schools and the fantastic fishing they provide are to the local community.

“We therefore would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your strong support for this initiative and we hope to be able to do more community fish release events like Snapper Guardians in the future.

“We share the community’s disappointment in having to cancel the event this time, but we are sure everyone understands we have no alternative as it’s the right thing to do.”

  • Initially published on 20 January as “Think pink and help release thousands of snapper into Cockburn Sound”.

Do you want to lend a helping hand to support pink snapper stocks at an important metropolitan fishery?

How would you and the kids like to help release thousands of juvenile snapper into Cockburn Sound and show how much you care about this fantastic fishery and location on Perth’s doorstep?

Meet us at the red arrow for Snapper Guardians – click here to view on Google Maps.

If the answer is a resounding “YES!”, Recfishwest is hosting the fifth Snapper Guardians at Jervoise Bay, Woodman Point, on Saturday, 6 February, from 10am – and you’re invited!

Click here to find the Facebook event!

Thousands of juvenile pink snapper – hatched and reared at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) aquaculture facility in Fremantle – are set to be released on the day.

From providing fantastic and accessible fishing experiences to offering nursery habitat for many species, Cockburn Sound is an important fishery on Perth’s doorstep for a host of reasons.

Cockburn Sound is a vital habitat for juvenile pinkies – and other species such as squid and blue swimmer crabs – and hosts the West Coast Bioregion’s only-known snapper spawning aggregations.

And, for Perth’s passionate recfishing community, Cockburn Sound is a place that simply must be protected.

Snapper Guardians, supported by Recfishwest’s partner Shimano Australia, was founded in the wake of the devastating and widespread fish kill at Cockburn Sound in 2015.

Since then, the community-driven fish stocking event has grown into a must-keep date in the diary, with hundreds of families taking part each year – it is a great family experience.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland and Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley rolled up their sleeves to release pinkies at last year’s Snapper Guardians.

Why are pink snapper in the Cockburn Sound so important? Check this amazing footage out!

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said Snapper Guardians’ popularity showed how highly the local community regard Cockburn Sound as a critical metro fishery.

“The fishing community has effectively made the event their own and it’s terrific that there is such community-led stewardship over this important resource and fishery,” he said.

“Seeing these pinkies make their way into the Sound is an awesome experience and something special to share with your family and friends.

“Snapper Guardians sends a powerful message of how invested Perth recfishers are in wanting to make sure Cockburn Sound continues to support the largest known spawning schools of pink snapper in the West Coast Bioregion – which spans from north of Kalbarri to Augusta.”

A safer journey to adulthood

The soon-to-be-released pinkies were hatched and reared at DPIRD’s aquaculture facility in Fremantle from eggs collected from pink snapper spawning schools in Cockburn Sound earlier in the summer.

Collecting and rearing the juvenile pinkies in a protected environment significantly the fish’s chances of reaching adulthood.

“Making it from egg to juvenile is a hazardous journey for pink snapper in the wild, with so many factors working against the fish surviving,” Dr Rowland said.

“Therefore, collecting and rearing the juveniles in a protected environment significantly increase the pink snappers’ prospects of reaching adulthood.

“It is great to work alongside the DPIRD aquaculture team in order to make Snapper Guardians a reality.”

Come on down!

If you and your family are attending this year’s Snapper Guardians, remember to wear a hat and sunscreen and bring a snorkel if you’re wanting to watch the snapper swim off into their new home.

Snapper Guardians is a COVID-safe community event so everyone attending will be required to either scan themselves in on the day using the SafeWA app, either via the Apple Store or Google Play, or manually register on the morning.

Also, be sure to tag #recfishwest and #SnapperGuardians2021 in your social media posts to be featured on Recfishwest’s Facebook, Instagram, website or newsletters!

  • Initially published on 20 January as “Think pink and help release thousands of snapper into Cockburn Sound”.
Cockburn Sound provides a fantastic fishing experience for many metro fishers, including Nick Drummond.