Shark Bay, more than 800 kilometres north of Perth, is renowned for its recreational fishing of pink snapper. The pink snapper found in the bay’s inner gulfs do not mix with those in the ocean beyond. This means the inner gulf stock is particularly vulnerable to overfishing; this is why special management rules apply.
The following rules apply when fishing for pink snapper in the inner gulfs of Shark Bay.
Daily bag limit: Two, minimum size 500 mm, maximum size 700 mm.
Eastern Gulf: Closed season 1 May – 31 July (inclusive).
Denham Sound: Open each year until the 15 tonne Total Allowable Catch (TAC) is reached.
Freycinet Estuary: Closed season 15 August – 30 September. Anglers must have a pink snapper tag to take pink snapper in the Freycinet Estuary. A limited number of tags are issued each year.
Fishing oceanic stocks out of Shark Bay: Recreational fishers are not allowed to land more than the Shark Bay inner gulf bag limit and inner gulf size limits apply when the fish have been caught in oceanic waters and landed anywhere in the eastern and western gulfs of Shark Bay. Previous exemptions that allowed this no longer apply.
No filleting at sea: In the inner gulfs of Shark Bay, a person must not be in possession of, or have in a boat, any fish other than whole fish. This applies to all species except mackerel and tuna, which may be filleted at sea provided that only one fillet is taken from each side of the fish, and the skin and pectoral fin (‘wings’) are left attached to each fillet.
The only other exception to this rule are fish being prepared for immediate consumption or for use as bait, however this exception does not apply to pink snapper.
For more information see our Statewide recreational fishing guide 2013.