What an awesome turn-out for Snapper Guardians 2020 – the biggest and best yet!
Hundreds of fishing families turned up to help us release 5,000 juvenile pink snapper into Cockburn Sound – showing how much they value the Sound and the fantastic fishery on Perth’s doorstep it supports. A massive thanks from us for all your support – it is a privilege for us at Recfishwest to be able run this event with the community.
The new Minister for Fisheries Peter Tinley came down with his family to show his and the Government’s support for this important initiative and we would like to thank the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) for collecting the eggs, hatching and rearing the fish in their aquaculture tanks and bringing the fish down on the day. We’d also like to thank our volunteers and our supporting partners Santos and Shimano Australia, who all helped make it happen.
Rest assured, we’ll be doing all we can to ensure this great event can happen again next year, the year after and for many years to come. Check out the gallery below – the big smiles everywhere says it all!
Remember the latest management changes, including seasonal closures, for both pink snapper and blue swimmer crabs in the West Coast Bioregion came into effect on September 1.
Both of these closures are critical in protecting spawning snapper and crabs, helping to secure the future of the fantastic fishing experiences both of these iconic recreational species offer in the metro area and South West.
Pink snapper are the lifeblood of recreational fishing in the Gascoyne. These highly prized fish provide fantastic opportunity for both local and visiting fishers to tussle with a hard fighting, yet accessible sportfish that is also rated highly on the plate.
Readers might remember management changes for oceanic pink snapper were implemented last year, which included a snapper spawning closure north of Bernier Island, offshore from Carnarvon as well as a reduction in the allowable catch for the commercial fishing sector.
The community were consulted after a stock assessment indicated a risk to snapper numbers in the region, and agreed that these measures were appropriate to try and recover the snapper stock as quickly as possible. The spawning closure had over 96% support from the community. You can read more about it here.
Managing our states fisheries is an exciting and challenging task that takes place in a dynamic environment affected by many influences. This means that it’s important to constantly check-in on how management changes are affecting both our fish stocks and our fishing experiences.
In the case of Gascoyne pink snapper, Recfishwest recently met with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and representatives from the commercial fishing sector to further develop the recovery plan for the oceanic pink snapper resource in the Gascoyne region.
This work includes reviewing current research and management actions, endorsing appropriate catch levels and timelines for future stock assessments and discussing future management to stimulate the fishery to recover at the desired rate.
Recfishwest is proud to continue to work with all stakeholders to refine the recovery strategy in order to rebuild this snapper stock as soon as possible.
Recreational fishing is an integral part of Carnarvon’s social fabric and local economy, so it’s vitally important that we balance the protection of this valuable resource with the opportunity to visit Carnarvon and fish in other places, or for different species. Through positive community engagement and consultation, this balance was achieved.
If you are planning on travelling to Carnarvon for a fishing trip, it is worth noting that the spawning closure is in effect from the 1st of June – 31st August. This doesn’t affect fishing for other species such as coral trout or red emperor.
Hundreds of families turned out to release thousands of juvenile Pink Snapper on the 10th of February at Snapper Guardians 2018. The perfect weather conditions allowed kids and parents to get right in the water and watch their fish swim off into the wild.
So far over 100,000 Pink Snapper have been grown out and released through the Snapper Guardians program.
This program is continuing to build community stewardship for one of WA’s iconic species.
Cockburn Sound’s Pink Snapper stocks are one of the most important fisheries in WA as these waters are home to the largest spawning aggregations of snapper on the West Coast.
“Fishing for Pink Snapper off the Perth coast is continually improving and there’s no reason why this fishery couldn’t be the best Pink Snapper fishery in Australia.” Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland.
Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly was once again on the beach seeing first-hand how important this event is to the community, especially the children, many of whom got the chance to release their very first fish providing a positive experience that will stay with them for a lifetime.
“It was fantastic to join the hundreds of mums, dads, kids and avid fishers down at the beach for such a fun and important recreational fishing initiative.
Recreational fishing is an important part of WA’s way of life and an important economic driver. Which is why the McGowan Government supports recreational fishing projects through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.
Each and every licence holder contributes to this fund with 25 percent of recreational licence fees placed into this fund.
I congratulate Recfishwest and Fisheries staff at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development for their hard work on this project.”
Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland expressed what his team are working so hard to protect.
“As your peak body organisation representing you, it’s our role to stand up and protect important waterways around WA such as Cockburn Sound’s Pink Snapper spawning grounds.” Dr Rowland said.
“We know there’s been a long running history of competing uses in the sound and getting the balance right will always be a challenge. Programs like Snapper Guardians play an important role in highlighting the importance of Cockburn Sound to our sector.”
“The team at Recfishwest would like to thank the hundreds of families that came down and did their bit for Pink Snapper in Cockburn Sound. We’re always thrilled to see the community rolling up their sleeves and making a difference!”
Snapper Guardians 2018 was made possible through funding from the State Government and the ongoing support of the WA community.