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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Three yellowfin whiting laying parallel with each other showing size differences

Latest research shows there are strong numbers of yellowfin whiting in the Peel-Harvey Estuary. Photo: Chris Dowling.

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Yellowfin whiting population in the black

​A two-year stock assessment shows the yellowfin whiting stock in the Peel-Harvey Estuary is in good health and sustainable.

Based on data collected from commercial and recreational catches from both estuary and oceanic waters in 2015 and 2016, the age-based assessment indicates that the yellowfin whiting breeding stock is above the target level (i.e. where we want it to be).

The stock assessment was triggered by increases in yellowfin whiting catches by commercial fishers in the Peel-Harvey estuary in 2014 and anecdotal reports of increased recreational catches.

The assessment found that the stock had increased recruitment during the 2010/11 marine heatwave, and juveniles from this year-class joining the adult stock had led to the increases in catches.

The 2010/11 heatwave peaked when water temperatures increased along the west coast by two to three degrees over a period of months, especially at the end of February/beginning of March 2011, and caused large fish and abalone kills at the Abrolhos Islands and along the coast from Green Head to Moore River.

Recreational and commercial catches are now expected to return to levels observed prior to the heatwave. 

Last modified: 24/10/2017 9:53 AM

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