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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

​Australian herring
(Arripis georgianus)

Saturday 20 December 2014

Getting the balance right for Herring recovery

  • ​New fishing strategies to help WA’s Herring stock recover
  • Daily bag limit of 12 Herring for recreational fishers from March 1
  • Commercial South Coast G-net Fishery closes March 1
  • Opportunity for commercial operators to sell licences back to government

A daily bag limit of 12 for recreational fishers and closure of the commercial South Coast G-net Fishery will come into force on March 1, 2015, to ease fishing pressure on Australian Herring and help the stock recovery of this important species.

Research by the Department of Fisheries shows Herring stock has been depleted and the overall catch of Herring must be halved to reduce the impact of fishing and provide the best opportunity for recovery. 

Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said since concerns were raised, extensive consultation with the commercial and recreational sectors as well as independent reviews of the Herring science had helped him determine an appropriate management strategy.

“Both environmental factors and fishing pressure have been identified as contributing to the current concerns over Herring. And, while I can’t control the environment, I can take action to address fishing pressure and in that way aid recovery,” Mr Baston said.

“The State’s Herring stock will be closely monitored and I will review both its status and the new management arrangements before the end of 2016.”

The Minister said his decision took into account the stock recovery imperative and prioritised the need to use the Herring resource for recreational purposes and human consumption.

“The decision to close the South Coast G-net Fishery was not made lightly, however its closure will go a long way towards meeting the required catch reduction and, importantly, is consistent with wider community views on appropriate use of the resource,” he said.

“I recognise this will have an impact on the commercial operators involved. It’s therefore appropriate that affected licence-holders be given the opportunity to sell back their G-net authorisations to the Government and exit the fishery. On this basis, I believe a targeted Voluntary Fisheries Adjustment Scheme will be needed.”

Mr Baston said WA had world-class fisheries scientists and managers monitoring fish stocks to ensure sustainability, while also protecting the best possible fishing experience.

“I have spoken to the South Australian Government about the status of the Herring stock and I am pleased they have expressed a willingness to consider management options if deemed necessary there,” he said.

Fact File

Minister’s office - 6552 5400

Last modified: 20/12/2014 10:20 AM

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