skip to content
Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
The black (left) and smooth (right) stingrays are protected from recreational fishing in south-west and southern WA. Illustrations © R. Swainston/ /
Friday 10 March 2017

Taking care of our rays

People often marvel to see large rays gliding through the shallows along our coast during summer and autumn, and some species need extra protection because of their interaction with humans in popular holiday and fishing areas.

The inquisitive, often placid and residential nature of these rays, as well as the opportunity to see them at close quarters, adds to the overall enjoyment of the outdoor experience, such that they have become valued by both local communities and tourists.

All rays and skates are totally protected in Hamelin Bay and the black stingray and smooth stingray are protected from recreational fishing in the West Coast and South Coast bioregions. If caught, these fish must be released immediately without being harmed.

Black and smooth stingrays tend to be the main species that aggregate around fish cleaning stations, which is why they have become protected. They look similar to other ray species, so carefully identify any rays you catch as taking a totally protected fish can attract a significant fine.

For more information see our recreational fishing rules. 

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

Last modified: 10/03/2017 9:42 AM

© All contents copyright Government of Western Australia. All rights reserved. ABN: 18 951 343 745


© This work is copyright. You may display, print or reproduce this material only in an unaltered format for your personal or non-commercial use, or for use within your organisation. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, all other rights are reserved.


The information and advice provided by the Department of Fisheries website is made in good faith and is from sources believed to be reliable and accurate at the time of release onto the website. Changes in circumstances after a document is placed on the website may affect the accuracy of the information. Full disclaimer details are available at