West coast demersal survey response shows recfishers care passionately about the fishery’s future

Recfishwest recently asked west coast demersal recfishers to participate in a survey regarding the fishery’s future.

More than 600 fishers responded assisting Recfishwest, as the peak recreational fishing body, represent the sector’s interests on the west coast demersal scalefish harvest strategy working group.

How do you dhu? Big dhuies are top of many recfishers’ target list in the West Coast Bioregion. Picture: Marco Fraschetti

The harvest strategy group, which first met last month, is comprised of representatives from the recreational, commercial and charter sector as well as Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) fisheries managers.

The group was set up to develop a draft harvest strategy providing the framework for future management decisions about this highly important fishery.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said: “As we are just one of a number of organisations on the working group, it is critical to collect information which best represents your views in this Government-led fisheries management process.

“A big thanks to all who took part in the survey, we are now taking a close look at the results so we can drill down into what is important to west coast demersal fishers and how they’d like to see species such as dhuie and pinkies managed in the future.

“What clearly comes across is how highly recfishers value this fishery and how much they care about securing the future of these iconic species and the fishing experiences that go with them.”

You can see a snapshot of the survey results here.

For those interested in reading about the discussions being held in the working group – summaries of the group’s last three meetings, along with its terms of reference, can be found on the consultation page on the Fisheries website.

So, what happens next?

The group will continue its work in drafting the proposed harvest strategy, which DPIRD says will be released for public comment later this year.

“It is important you have your say on the draft strategy once it is published and we will compile your views into a recfishing sector response.

“Rest assured, we will continue to do all we can in our power to represent your interests and ensure a bright future for dhuie and pinkie fishing,” said Dr Rowland.

Nice pinkies like this are what keeps so many recfishers coming back to the west coast demersal scalefish fishery.