West coast demersal recreational fishing community consultation

In August 2022, the Government made a shock announcement proposing an annual nine-month west coast demersal fishing ban.  

We reject the Government’s initial proposal and think there is a better and fairer way to deliver catch reductions without the devastating social and economic impact on the recreational sector that a nine-month ban would cause. 

Our package of alternative recommendations we gave to the Government was informed by an expert working group comprising business owners, charter fishers, fishing clubs and keen recreational fishers. 

Read Recfishwest’s package of recommendations here

A WA fishing community record survey of nearly 6,000 respondents also helped inform the package of recommendations. 

The package is well balanced and focused on protecting spawning fish while delivering the best social and economic benefits, along with better fishing rules, enhanced education and more research. 

We are all committed to the sustainability of this great fishery and our package protects the fish and protects fishing experiences. 

Coral trout underwater – Credit Al McGlashan

We are engaging with Government stakeholders to ensure there’s awareness of the damage caused by their proposal and the benefits of our alternative. The strength of feeling against the Government’s proposals within the community was highlighted by the 18,500-plus online petition against the proposed eight to nine month ban making it the biggest parliamentary online petition in WA’s history! 

We will continue to work with Government to develop a sensible alternative. 

What you can do – ask the Government to adopt a more sensible approach 

  1.  Contact your local Member of Parliament and let them know how the proposals will impact you and your family. If you need tips on how to reach out to your local MP, our guidelines on contacting your local MP below will help  How to contact your local MP
  2. Join Recfishwest and encourage your family members and friends to do the same – send a clear message that recreational fishers are united in supporting a more sensible outcome. You can join through this link here. 


Dhufish Forever Alliance – coming soon!

We are developing a campaign alliance of fishers, fishing related businesses, fishery managers, scientists, fishery decision-makers and members of the wider community to ensure there will be Dhufish Forever and other demersal fish that we value so highly. 

We want dhufish and other demersals to be sustainable, accessible and enjoyable forever through better science, better management and better stewardship ensuring a better future for these iconic fish.  

Watch this space! 

Dhufish underwater – Credit Fishes of Australia

How we got here

This has all followed DPIRD’s last west coast demersal stock assessment which has shown that while there are some signs of recovery, west coast demersal stocks are not recovering quickly enough to meet the 2030 sustainability target set in the recovery plan launched for these species in 2010. 

As a result, the Minister for Fisheries announced there will be a 50 per cent reduction in the total fishing mortality limit from 750t to 375t to ensure the rate of recovery gets back on track. 

It is clear from the latest stock assessment that while there are some signs of recovery, west coast demersal stocks are not recovering quickly enough to meet the 2030 sustainability target set in 2010 and action will need to be taken. 


The purpose of our survey was to get a broad understanding of the general management approaches members of the fishing community prefer – as well as hearing any other ideas you may have had about how the sustainability targets might be achieved.

Thank you to nearly 6,000 of you who responded to our survey – this was a magnificent response and shows how much you care about these special fish.


Keeping you in the loop

We will keep you posted on developments through our communication channels throughout the process.
Consider signing up to our e-newsletter(s) here

Want to know more or talk to us?

We welcome any questions or views you would like to share with us directly. Contact us on (08) 9246 3366 or email us at info@recfishwest.org.au