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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Friday 11 November 2016

Simplifying size limit rules for WA fishers

​To continue its efforts to reduce red tape and simplify the State’s fishing rules, the Department of Fisheries has undertaken a major review of all finfish size limits across Western Australia.

Policy and Strategic Services Director Nathan Harrison said the review was science-based with the aim of ensuring size limits contribute in a meaningful way to the sustainable management of individual species.

“For example, where there are high rates of post-release mortality due to barotrauma, it is proposed that the minimum size limits be abolished for a range of species, such as baldchin groper and breaksea cod,” Mr Harrison said. “Reducing mortality rates offers sustainability benefits.

“In addition, where fish are often not retained or targeted as sports fish, the proposal is that minimum size limits are removed for various species, like Australian salmon and Samson fish.

Mr Harrison said size limits for finfish would remain, where they were necessary to ensure ongoing sustainability for species that needed a range of management measures to help protect them from exploitation.

“Where possible size limits have been simplified and standardised for many commonly caught species,” he said. “This is a win–win outcome for both fishers and sustainable management.”
Mr Harrison said the Policy on the Application of fish size limits in WA, which was now available, was developed after requests from Recfishwest and WA’s Fishing Industry Council.

“The new policy will now provide a framework for applying size limits,” he said.

“This policy was used in the development of the second document being released today for public comment – A review of size limits for finfish in WA.”

Details of how to make a submission during the six-week consultation period, which will close on 23 December 2016, are available on the Public comment page at

Given the public consultation period, related to the discussion paper, as well as required regulatory processes when decisions are finalised, formal arrangements to implement size limit changes are not expected to be in place before early to mid-2017.

More information on the current recreational rules, including size limits, is available in the current Recreational fishing guide 2016 or at, or collect the guide from departmental offices, or Information Outlets.

Last modified: 11/11/2016 10:27 AM

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