Families invited to release 5,000 pink snapper into Cockburn Sound

RECFISHWEST is urging mums, dads and kids to “snap to it” and help hand-release 5,000 pink snapper in Cockburn Sound as part of the welcome return of the popular Snapper Guardians community fish stocking program.  

It is welcome news for mums, dads and kids who can again attend this popular event in person for the first time since 2020, following the unfortunate cancellation of the event in 2021 and 2022 due to COVID (although that didn’t stop the stocking of 120,000 snapper into the Sound over the past two years).  

Pink snapper have always been strongly associated with Cockburn Sound, which supports the West Coast Bioregion’s largest pink snapper spawning aggregation, and which is treasured by the local community as a safe, accessible and fantastic fishery on Perth’s doorstep.   

Snapper Guardians was launched in response to the 2015 fish kill that saw a horrific number of adult pink snapper wash up dead along the shoreline of Cockburn Sound. On the back of the community outcry that ensued, Recfishwest launched a crowd-funded fish stocking program in the Sound.  

The program is supported by DPIRD’s aquaculture centre in Fremantle where the juvenile snapper are hatched and reared through the most vulnerable phase of their life cycle before being released to maximise their survival opportunity.

Since the inaugural Snapper Guardians event held in 2016, more than 220,000 pink snapper have been released into Cockburn Sound for future generations of fishers to enjoy catching.  

In total, another 40,000 pink snapper will be released in 2023, with 5,000 at our Snapper Guardians Event and 35,000 at both the Cockburn Power Boats Club and Fremantle Sailing Club in mid-February.  

“Seeing these pinkies make their way into the Sound is an awesome experience and something special to share with your kids,” said Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland. 

“The recreational fishing community has a strong track record in driving initiatives that safeguard demersal fish stocks and events like Snapper Guardians highlight how much local people care about the future of these fish and Cockburn Sound as a whole. This is particularly important given the recent west coast demersal changes and the Government’s plans to build a new port in Cockburn Sound. 

“It’s been great to see how the community has effectively made Snapper Guardians its own and we are proud and excited to welcome back community members of all ages to roll up their sleeves and enjoy the special experience of watching these pinkies swim off into the Sound.”  

The event kicks off at 10:00am on Saturday, 11 February, at Jervoise Bay, Woodman Point. All you need to bring to join in the fun is your family, camera, hat, sunscreen and a snorkel for those who want to watch the snapper swimming off into their new home. 

For more info, click here. You can also watch our Snapper Guardians story on YouTube.  

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