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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

​Dhuies and other demersal scalefish must not be taken.

Monday 14 October 2019

The annual West Coast Bioregion demersal fishing closure begins tomorrow

​Popular demersal fish stocks in the West Coast Bioregion are under a 20-year recovery plan.

The annual demersal fishing closure is one of a number of measures introduced to manage annual recreational and charter catches at levels that allow WA dhufish, pink snapper, baldchin groper and other demersal scalefish species to recover by 2030.

The closure zone runs from north of Kalbarri, south past Geraldton and including the Abrolhos Islands, down the West Coast to the Perth Metropolitan coast and Mandurah and further to take in Bunbury, Busselton and South West coastal areas as far as Black Point, near Augusta.   

From tomorrow, up to and including Sunday 15 December, recreational fishers are prohibited from taking or landing demersal finfish in the West Coast Bioregion and, if you do happen to catch one, any demersal scalefish must be returned to the water as soon as possible.

Fisheries officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) are well experienced in monitoring seasonal closures around WA and won’t hesitate to take the necessary action.

While compliance action may vary from a warning to low and high level infringement fines, as well as prosecution in court, for very serious offences, the majority of fishers do the right thing because they want demersal stocks to recover.    

DPIRD Fisheries Management Officer Shane Walters said the aim of the annual closure, introduced in 2009, has been to reduce the annual recreational and charter catches of demersal scalefish by at least 50 per cent on the West Coast.

“It is important that recreational and charter fishers continue to play their part by maintaining annual catches below recovery benchmarks, to ensure these important species recover,” Mr Walters said.

“A list of the species covered by the closure is available at www.fish.wa.gov.au.

“Stewardship of these important and popular species by recreational and charter fishers is vital to the effectiveness of this seasonal closure and the recovery of the resource.

“During this closure, there are other sustainable fishing options for fishers to try out, such as rock lobster fishing (now available year round to recreational fishers), or fishing for nearshore species such as squid, whiting, mulloway and tailor.”

Details on the West Coast Bioregion’s closed fishing seasons are on the DPIRD Fisheries website in the Recreational fishing guide, along with information on fishing rules and limits.

If you download the Recfishwest Smartphone App for iPhone or Android handsets, you don’t have to worry about being out of range, you will still be able to access WA’s fishing rules, info to ID species and maps, including marine park information.

Last modified: 14/10/2019 3:55 PM

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