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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Fisher returning a pink snapper caught in Shark Bay to the water
​After two decades of intensive stock monitoring and strong management measures, fine pink snapper are again a common sight for fishers in Shark Bay.
Tuesday 1 August 2017

Snapper time in the Eastern Gulf

Shark Bay’s Eastern Gulf reopened to pink snapper fishing on 1 August, following the annual closed season.

Pink snapper stocks in Shark Bay’s inner gulfs were overfished in the 1980s and 1990s, prompting a major long-term recovery program.

After two decades of intensive stock monitoring and strong management measures, with support from recreational and commercial fishers, the stocks have recovered to above the program’s targeted levels.

As a result, the fishing rules have been relaxed to give more recreational fishers access to this iconic fishery, while ensuring the stocks remain at above sustainable levels.

Last year, the maximum size limit for pink snapper was removed across the inner gulfs – the Eastern Gulf, Denham Sound and Freycinet Estuary – enabling fishers to catch and keep trophy-sized pink snapper. There is no longer a requirement to land pink snapper in whole form in the inner gulfs of Shark Bay, but Statewide filleting rules apply.
Although the Eastern Gulf has reopened, Freycinet Estuary is closed to pink snapper fishing from 15 August to 30 September (inclusive), during the main snapper breeding season in that area.

There is a possession limit of 5 kg of fillets or one day’s bag limit of whole fish or fish trunks is the Freycinet Estuary Management Zone – applying to all fish, not just pink snapper.

For more information see our recreational fishing rules.

You can also download our Recreational Fishing Guide​​​ in booklet size or the A4 print-friendly version.

Last modified: 1/08/2017 5:49 PM

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