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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Large West Australian dhufish in a school
​West Australian dhufish are among the targets of high-grading​
Wednesday 17 May 2017

Don’t high-grade your catch

High-grading is an illegal technique used by some fishers to improve the quality of their catch, while appearing to stay within the daily bag limit.

High-grading occurs when a fisher has caught the daily bag limit of a particular species, but continues fishing for the same species so as to try to catch bigger fish. If successful, the smallest fish, which are often dead, are then returned to the water or used as bait.

Our Fisheries and Marine Officers often detect the illegal practice with highly prized species such as West Australian dhufish.

High-grading is most commonly seen with demersal finfish in the West Coast Bioregion. In this bioregion, there is a total mixed species daily bag limit per angler of two demersal finfish, which can only include a maximum of one dhufish.

Once a particular individual species daily bag limit, mixed species daily bag limit, boat limit or possession limit has been reached, we encourage fishers to target different species, or to stop fishing.

Anyone caught high-grading could be charged with exceeding the daily bag limit. In the case of dhufish, a fine of up to $5,000 could result.

Anyone who has information on illegal fishing activities is asked to call FishWatch on 1800 815 507.

For more information see our recreational fishing rules.

You can also download our Recreational fishing guide or pick up a copy of the guide from our offices and participating information outlets.​​

Last modified: 31/05/2017 10:58 AM

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