Fishos to have say on demersal fishery allocation

An independent advisory body in WA is calling for submissions on its latest report on how important fish resources should be shared among fishing sectors.

The Integrated Fisheries Allocation Advisory Committee (IFAAC), established by the Minister for Fisheries, has previously provided allocation reports on Perth’s abalone resource and WA’s Western Rock Lobster fishery.

IFAAC has now turned its attention to demersal scalefish in the West Coast Bioregion.

Committee Chair Ian Longson said the West Coast demersal scalefish resource included species like dhufish, pink snapper and baldchin groper.

“The committee has considered the information provided about the demersal species in the latest Department of Fisheries IFM Resource Report and held detailed discussions with the WA Fishing Industry Council and Recfishwest, who represent stakeholders,” Longson said.

“With the Department of Fisheries’ report identifying a sustainable annual harvest level of around 715 tonnes, it has been the committee’s role to assess how that allowable catch should be allocated to the sectors in a fair way.

“IFAAC’s proposed split of the resource is for two thirds to the commercial sector and one third to recreational fishers. We have not quantified an allocation for the customary sector.”

Longson said it was important to note that length and weight relationship data was not available for all demersal species, so the allocation would only apply to the species that were subject to the October to December recreational fishing closure in the West Coast Bioregion.

“These are suggested allocations and IFAAC looks forward to attending public meetings, to be held by Recfishwest and the WA Fishing Industry Council, to receive as much feedback as possible,” he said.

“The meetings will be held in metropolitan and regional areas.

“I also encourage interested parties to lodge a written submission before the end of August, so a wide range of views can be considered.”

IFAAC’s Draft Allocation Report (FMP 237) and the Department of Fisheries IFM Resource Report (FMP 247) on the West Coast Demersal Scalefish Resource can be downloaded from the department’s website or copies can be obtained by phoning 9482 7333.

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