Shark fishing banned from all Perth beaches

THE Cook Government is extending restrictions to stop shark fishing in all nearshore waters of the Perth metropolitan area to address community concerns for public safety.

Fisheries Minister Don Punch has approved restrictions to prohibit the use of wire trace, which is essential to land sharks, within 800 metres of the shore at all Perth metropolitan beaches.

“Fishing for large sharks from metropolitan swimming beaches is simply incompatible with community values and community safety,” said Punch.

“This reform is simple, effective, easy to understand and most importantly puts community safety first,” he said.

“I was increasingly concerned that individual local governments were creating their own recreational fishing regimes which were inconsistent with State Government fisheries policies and confusing for recreational fishers to follow.

“There is now absolutely no need for any local government to attempt to regulate this space and I call on local governments to rescind their local laws aimed at doing so.

“I recognise a small number of recreational fishers prefer to use wire trace for beach fishing for species such as Tailor. I am satisfied with the availability of alternatives so I would encourage anyone affected to visit their local tackle store to chat about the variety of substitutes on offer,” said Punch.

The new restrictions under the Fish Resources Management Act 1994 will come into effect on 3 November 2023 for all Perth metropolitan beaches – from Tim’s Thicket Beach (south of Mandurah) to 5kms north of Two Rocks Marina, including the Swan Canning Estuary.

Similar restrictions were successfully introduced in February last year for Port and Leighton beaches through to South Cottesloe amid concerns that beach fishing attracted sharks close to the popular swimming beaches.

The new regulations also simplify the rules for recreational fishers, who are currently facing a variety of complex rules which vary considerably between local government areas.

Fishing for other popular species such as tailor, herring or whiting will be unaffected by the new rules as wire trace is not required to catch these fish.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development compliance officers will be ensuring fishers adhere to the new wire trace restrictions, and existing bans on the use of burley comprising mammal or bird products, such as blood and offal.

The Cook Government said regional locations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The Cook Government is continuing to work with regional local governments and local governments along the Swan River on other mitigation strategies, including the installation of a beach enclosure at Bicton Baths in the City of Melville.

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