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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Wednesday 13 February 2019

West Coast Zone abalone fishing to go ahead this Saturday and a fourth day scheduled

​Not only will recreational fishing for abalone in the West Coast Zone go ahead between 7am and 8am this Saturday, an additional fishing hour on Saturday 9 March has been scheduled to replace the cancelled January session.

Following a recommendation by Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA), a decision was made to cancel recreational abalone fishing on Saturday 12 January.

Comprehensive monitoring of the recreational abalone catch, to date, has predicted that, with a fourth day’s fishing next month, the total catch for the season will not exceed the sustainable target range of 18 to 22 tonnes.

For this coming Saturday (16 February) the SLSWA recommendation, based on surf prediction modelling, is that fishing can proceed. The SLSWA modelling uses the best available information on sea and weather conditions from multiple information sources and rates the risks for factors, such as wind speed, swell, tide and swell period. The modelling for this Saturday sets the risk factors in the low to medium range.

Licensed abalone fishers planning to take part in the fishing hour this Saturday are still reminded to make an individual assessment of the sea and weather conditions on the day and ensure their water skills, clothing and gear are suitable for abalone fishing.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Senior Management Officer Rhiannon Jones said that, in line with the current season arrangements, there would also be an assessment of weather and sea conditions in the days prior to 9 March.

“It’s good news for abalone fishers that a fourth day’s fishing can been scheduled, however, at all times safety is a priority for the department and each day’s fishing will always be assessed carefully in the lead up days, so that any decision to cancel can be made by the Wednesday beforehand,” Ms Jones said.

“The catch levels on the two fishing days so far have not exceeded the reference levels and, even with a planned fishing day still to occur this Saturday, we are now confident the season’s total catch will be within the sustainability range, therefore the extra day’s fishing is now programmed for Saturday 9 March.

“For this fishery to remain sustainable, it’s vital fishers comply with the bag and size limits for abalone and departmental Fisheries officers will be at abalone fishing locations in the West Coast Zone, between the Busselton Jetty and Moore River, to check compliance on Saturday.”

More on abalone fishing rules is available at www.fish.wa.gov.au. SLSWA has abalone fishing safety tips at: https://www.mybeach.com.au/safety-rescue-services/coastal-recreation/abalone/

Last modified: 13/02/2019 5:30 PM

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