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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Friday 1 May 2020

Recreational fishers allowed restricted access to Rottnest Island waters

  • Recreational fishers get restricted and supervised access to exclusion zone off Rottnest Island to retrieve crayfish pots
  • Access is to retrieve equipment only. No fishing or other recreational activity is allowed and disembarking on the island is strictly forbidden
  • ​Recreational fishers wishing to collect equipment are required to register by contacting 9372 9788 or 

Recreational fishers who have crayfish pots set in waters off Rottnest Island will be granted restricted access to the area's exclusion zone to collect their equipment, under supervision from Rottnest Island Authority rangers. 

Disembarking on the island itself is strictly forbidden and recreational fishers must register with Rottnest Island Authority rangers by contacting 9372 9788 or

Rottnest Island and its surrounding waters have been off limits to the public since March 25, with the island being utilised as part of the State's response to COVID-19.

Access for recreational fishers will be dependent on weather conditions and ranger availability. 

Fishers are permitted to access the exclusion zone for the purpose of retrieving their equipment only - with no further fishing or other recreational activity allowed. 

Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia: 

"This exemption will allow recreational fishers who have pots set in waters around Rottnest an opportunity to retrieve them. 

"Those choosing to take this opportunity must register with Rottnest Island Authority by phoning 9372 9788 or emailing 

"We remind those who wish to take up this opportunity that access is solely for the purpose of retrieving equipment." 

Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley: 

"The fringing reefs around Rottnest Island are a focal point for recreational rock lobster fishers. 

"In recognition of the popularity of this area and the number of pots set near the island the exemptions to retrieve rock lobster pots is a positive example of Government working with the recreational fishing community to manage this issue. 

"The recreational rock lobster season remains open and there is the opportunity for recreational rock lobster fishers to reset their pots away from the Rottnest Island exclusion zone." 

Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5600

Fisheries Minister's office - 6552 5300

Last modified: 1/05/2020 12:44 PM

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