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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Tuesday 5 December 2017

Keep safe as you enjoy the West Coast Zone abalone season

  • ​Abalone season opens this Saturday for one hour’s fishing between 7am and 8am
  • Fishing days have been changed to selected Saturdays to improve fisher safety
  • Safety is a priority, with new provisions to cancel fishing days if required

More than 15,500 people have already taken out licences to access Western Australia’s unique West Coast Zone abalone fishery in the lead up to the first fishing day this Saturday (December 9)

In October, Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly announced important changes to the unique 2017-18 West Coast Zone recreational abalone fishing season to improve fisher safety, following a significant review of the fishery.

The season now runs over the summer months to reduce the risk of rough weather conditions and fishing days will be on four specified Saturdays to ensure Surf Life Saving WA have the resources to help make the one-hour fishing window safer.

Fishing will be open between 7am and 8am on the following Saturdays:

  • December 9, 2017;
  • January 13, 2018;
  • February 3, 2018; and
  • February 17, 2018.

Recreational abalone catches will be closely monitored on all fishing days to ensure the target range of 18-22 tonnes is met, using options to reduce, or extend, the number of fishing days as appropriate. This will ensure the ongoing sustainability of this highly popular but fragile fishery.

More details and season dates are available at

Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:

“It is not worth risking a life for an abalone which is why we have introduced new measures to help improve fisher safety.

“Surf Life Saving WA, Recfishwest and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development have worked collaboratively on these changes to find the balance between fisher safety, fisher amenity and the sustainability of the fishery.  

“Importantly from now on if poor weather conditions are forecast, we will close the fishery - we won't put fishers or Surf Life Saving WA volunteers’ lives at risk.

“The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will act on Surf Life Saving WA advice to close and reschedule season fishing days.

“I urge abalone fishers to think safety at all times as they seek this seafood delicacy - remembering that it’s not worth risking your life for any fish.”

Minister's office - 6552 6100

Last modified: 5/12/2017 8:43 AM

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