West coast demersal fisheries closure

WA’s West Coast Region (Kalbarri to Augusta) demersal scalefish fishery is now closed to  fishing. 

This seasonal closure remains in place from 15 October to 15 December – inclusive.

The fishing closure applies to a broad suite of “high-risk” demersal species, including dhufish, pink snapper and baldchin groper, as part of a range of management measures to reduce the recreational catch by 50 per cent following independent research that showed these species were being overfished.

Department of Fisheries spokesperson Kevin Donohue said catch targets were being met by both commercial and recreational fishing sectors.

“The Department of Fisheries has been impressed with the level of compliance that recreational fishers have shown towards the demersal scalefish closure since its introduction two years ago.

“Support from recreational fishers has not gone unnoticed and we are grateful for their observation of the closure, which will ultimately lead to a recovery in our demersal scalefish stocks and ensure there are fish for the future,” Donohue said.

He said commercial fishers had cut their catches by 50 per cent, and reducing recreational catches was an important part of the long-term recovery plan for the fishery.

Fisheries and Marine Officers will focus on the demersal species fishing closure in the West Coast Bioregion and stiff penalties of up to $5000 apply to anyone caught fishing illegally.

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