Boat angler survey results released

THE catch taken by Western Australia’s recreational boat anglers has been revealed through an unprecedented survey.

WA Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said a database of 130,000 anglers, created with the introduction of the state’s Recreational Fishing from Boat Licence, had made the survey possible.

“The results of the 2011-12 survey are really valuable,” Mr Baston said.

“For example, we now know the blue swimmer crab is the most commonly caught species. In fact, more than 870,000 blue swimmer crabs were caught in the 12-month period.

“It also tells us that more than half of them were released, so our recreational fishers are accepting their stewardship role by returning undersize crabs to the ocean.

“School whiting was the most commonly caught finfish species, followed by Australian herring, King George whiting, pink snapper and black bream.

“The information from the survey will help us monitor what’s being bagged enabling us to secure future fish stocks.”

The Minister said 3,000 anglers kept log books on their catches and thousands of boat ramp interviews were conducted – further validating the research estimates.

“Sixty-seven per cent of recreational boat fishing took place between Black Point, east of Augusta, and the Zuytdorp Cliffs, north of Kalbarri, and three quarters of that angling was done in summer and autumn,” he said.

“The Gascoyne was the second most popular recreational boat fishing region (13 per cent), followed by North Coast (11 per cent) and the South Coast (nine per cent).”

The research was partly funded through Recreational Fishing from Boat Licence fees, which amount to about $3.5million a year.

More information is available in the Catch the facts about what’s being caught in WA document which is on the Department of Fisheries’ website at

A second survey is now under way.

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