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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Illustrations of a juvenile pink snapper and a silver bream by Roger Swainston

​The fish are a similar shape, but juvenile pink snapper (top) have blue spots on the upper half of their body, while silver bream have six or seven dark lines on their upper half - so look carefully for blue spots.  Illustration © R. Swainston/

Monday 20 February 2017

Spot the difference

​Recreational fishers who confuse juvenile pink snapper and silver bream  could pay a price, as different fishing rules and penalties apply for each of these species.

Our Fisheries and Marine officers often come across fishers who think they have caught silver bream, commonly called tarwhine – but they haven’t.

Instead, the fishers have landed undersize pink snapper.

The confusion between adult silver bream and these small pink snapper is an ongoing problem at marinas such as Hillarys and Mindarie, where juvenile pink snapper gather in large numbers and are quite easy to catch.

Pink snapper is a Category 1 demersal species requiring a high level of protection and offences involving these species are considered to be serious. 

Juvenile pink snapper are totally protected and fines for taking them can be significant. A first offence can attract a fine of up to $5,000 plus additional penalties per fish taken.

The minimum size limit for pink snapper is 500 mm in the West Coast Bioregion and the inner gulfs of Shark Bay. In all other areas, the minimum size limit is 410 mm.   

Silver bream is a smaller fish in the nearshore species category. They have a minimum size limit of 250 mm.

Any undersize or unwanted fish must be returned to the water immediately and carefully, to give them the best chance of survival.

For more information see our recreational fishing rules.

You can also download our Recreational fishing guide and Recreational fishing identification guide or pick up a copy of both guides from our offices and participating information outlets

Last modified: 20/02/2017 12:26 PM

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