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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Recovering pink snapper stocks

Friday 1 June 2018

Peak pink snapper spawning closure for the Gascoyne in force today

​Fishers in the Gascoyne are reminded that a seasonal closure now applies to a pink snapper spawning area, approximately 50km off the coast from Carnarvon. 

The area that surrounds northern Bernier Island and also Koks Island will be closed to pink snapper fishing from 1 June to 31 August each year, to assist with the recovery of oceanic stocks in an important spawning ground for the popular fish species.

Fisheries Management Officer for the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Shane Walters said the new seasonal spawning closure was the result of a community consultation process, which developed broad support for management action to help the oceanic pink snapper stocks to recover.

“Similar closures have been effective in protecting pink snapper aggregations in Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds off the Perth coast and also the inner gulfs of Shark Bay,” Mr Walters said.

“The commercial, recreational and charter fishing sectors have all demonstrated a strong resolve to counter concerns raised in the department’s stock assessment, which showed the low level of juvenile recruitment and fishing practices that have, in the past, targeted the main spawning aggregations in the closure area.

“This closure now makes it illegal to fish for pink snapper in the area or fish by line from a boat when pink snapper is onboard in the closed waters for the three month closed season.”

Mr Walters said Fisheries and Marine Officers would be checking vessels in the area at various times, to enforce the new regulations.

“While line fishing for other species is allowed, fishers must not have any pink snapper on board their vessels at the time,” he said.

“However, pink snapper taken outside the closed area may be transported through, or be onboard a vessel seeking safe anchorage within the closed area, as long as no line fishing is undertaken.

“The department encourages all fishers to avoid interacting with pink snapper within the closure area, as pink snapper caught in deep water may not survive and the stress from capture can impact spawning success.”

More information on the new Northern Bernier Island pink snapper closure, including a map of the closed area, is available in a flyer that is now available on the department’s Fisheries website at www.fish.wa.gov.au.

Last modified: 1/06/2018 1:14 PM

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