Prized fish off the menu in bid to preserve stocks

Staff reportersSouth Western Times
The ban on catching demersal fish has started.
Camera IconThe ban on catching demersal fish has started. Credit: supplied

Recreational fishers cannot catch demersal finfish in the West Coast Bioregion until December 15.

The annual demersal fishing closure, which started on October 15, was introduced in 2009 to reduce the annual recreational and charter catches of demersal scalefish by 50 per cent on the West Coast.

The closure zone runs from Kalbarri in the north, Geraldton, the Abrolhos Islands, through the Perth metropolitan region and further south through Mandurah, Bunbury, Busselton and Black Point near Augusta.

If fishers catch a demersal finfish they must return it to the water as soon as possible.

Failure to comply may incur a warning, fines or prosecution in court for serious offences.

Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development fisheries management officer Shane Walters said it was important recreational fishers played their part to ensure the species recovered.

“It is important that recreational and charter fishers continue to play their part by maintaining annual catches below recovery benchmarks,” Mr Walters said.

“During this closure there are other sustainable fishing options for fishers to try out, such as rock lobster fishing (now available year round to recreational fishers), or fishing for nearshore species such as squid, whiting, mulloway and tailor.”

Fisheries officers will monitor the seasonal closure around the State.

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