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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Friday 3 March 2017

Abalone fishers urged to take care on last day of season

As abalone fishers prepare to take to the waters for the last day of the 2016/17 season, the Department of Fisheries is reminding recreational fishers, with valid abalone fishing licences, to follow the rules and carefully consider sea conditions when they head out to fish this Sunday morning.

Sunday 5 March between 7am and 8am is the last fishing opportunity for the current season of the tightly managed West Coast Zone abalone fishery, which extends between Busselton Jetty and Moore River.

Department of Fisheries Director for Strategic Fisheries Policy Nathan Harrison said that while fishers will be keen to focus on their catch, they are urged to be aware of size and bag limits and to consider their personal safety at all times. 

“We are asking fishers to keep personal safety at the top of their mind while on the local reefs and to consider some simple measures which can be used to increase safety and enjoyment.

“Fishers need to keep an eye on the weather and the ocean as well as ensuring they are wearing appropriate clothing for abalone fishing, which includes good protective footwear and a wetsuit or light clothing that will not become too heavy when wet,” Mr Harrison said.

Fishers should also carry their catch in a loose-weave net bag, which will allow water to pass through and prevent it becoming a dragging weight.

Mr Harrison also suggested that measuring gauges should be easily accessible and attached to a wrist, rather than hung around a fisher’s neck.

Safety tips for fishing in WA are available on the FISH AND SURVIVE website.

Following good fishing conditions, the catch by recreational fishers is on target to be within the sustainable range.

North Metropolitan Compliance Manager Todd A’Vard said Fisheries and Marine officers would be patrolling on Sunday, ensuring abalone fishers abided by bag limits and the 7 am to 8 am fishing window.

“We will be focusing on bag and size limits, in particular making sure that fishers stop taking abalone when they reach their bag limit,” Mr A’Vard said.

“Fishers should only take abalone that they are going to keep, because abalone taken from the reef will most likely die if they are returned to the water. In addition, those with an abalone licence can only

collect abalone for themselves and not for other people, even if they are part of a group.”

More information on rules and limits is available in the Recreational fishing for abalone guide 2016/17 from the Department of Fisheries’ website at or information outlets.

Anyone with information about illegal fishing activities is urged not to get involved, but to carefully observe what they see and give FishWatch a call on 1800 815 507 or alert a Fisheries officer, if there is an officer on patrol at the beach.












Last modified: 7/03/2017 9:00 AM

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