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WA demersal fishery closures commence

WA Fisheries and Marine Officers will be out and about in the West Coast Bioregion, from
October 15 to enforce the new seasonal closure for “high-risk” demersal scalefish.

The two-month ban on the take of “high-risk” demersal species by recreational fishers applies on the
waters of the West Coast Bioregion between 26° 30’S (Zuytdorp Cliffs – north of Kalbarri) and
115° 30’E on the South Coast (Black Point – near Augusta).

It follows independent reviews of West Coast demersal scalefish management, which reinforced
Department of Fisheries advice that effective action is needed to protect the future of these
popular species.

The commercial fishing sector, which operates under separate management arrangements, has
already achieved its required reductions of 50 per cent.

Strategic Compliance Manager Tina Thorne said the new arrangements were part of a
management package designed to achieve a 50 per cent cut back in the catch of ‘high-risk’
demersal species by recreational fishers.

“Fisheries and Marine Officers will be monitoring fishing activity, between 15 October and 15
December, to ensure the seasonal closure is not being ignored,” Ms Thorne said.

“Infringement notices of $400 could be issued to recreational fishers. More serious offenders
could be prosecuted, with proven fisheries offences, related to closed season fishing breaches,
attracting a fine of up to $5000 for a first offence, plus a mandatory penalty amounting to 10
times the prescribed value of the fish by weight or by number.”

In addition to the ban on the take of high risk demersal species, there will also be changes to combined bag limits for certain species including: tailor, skippy, King George whiting, herring, sand
whiting and garfish.

For a pdf summary of new demersal fishery bag limits and laws click here.

A guide to the modified rules is available online at www.fishforthefuture.com.au.

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