FISHING licence fees are set to help renew prawn stocks in WA’s Swan and Canning rivers, as part of a $330,000 three-year project.
Fisheries Minister Norman Moore has congratulated the partners in the project aimed at restocking Perth’s major river systems with Western school prawns.
Mr Moore said it was hoped the initiative would help re-establish prawning as a key family activity in the Swan and Canning rivers.
“Drag netting for prawns on a hot summer night was once an intrinsic part of Perth’s summer lifestyle,” he said.
“This project will restock Western school prawns (or school prawns as they are often referred to) back into the shallow banks of the Swan and Canning rivers.
“Mandurah’s Peel Inlet and Perth’s river system are the most popular areas for recreational prawning in Western Australia’s southern regions and the school prawn is one of the main species taken.”
The Minister said Recfishwest, the Swan River Trust, Challenger Institute of Technology and the Department of Fisheries would work together on the restocking project.
“Collection of prawn broodstock from the Swan River will occur this month and restocking of juvenile prawns will be undertaken during the summer,” he said.
“The exact number of prawns to be released will depend on spawning success, but one river prawn can have more than half a million eggs.”
Mr Moore said this project was another exciting step in building better recreational fisheries in WA and a direct benefit from licence fees that were reinvested into fishing initiatives.
“Recreational fishers contribute about $6 million a year through licence fees to the better management of the State’s recreational fishing,” he said.
“These licence fees fund new Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund projects, like this one, and this directly benefits recreational fishers.
“Long term, having people prawning once again will help re-connect the community with Perth’s estuaries and help foster responsibility and stewardship for the health of the Swan and Canning rivers.”