The commercial catch of baldchin groper in Western Australia is relatively small. The West Coast Demersal Scalefish (Interim) Managed Fishery is the biggest commercial fishery for the species.
It operates in ocean waters just south of Shark Bay to just east of Augusta. In 2010, 12 tonnes of baldchin groper was landed in this fishery. The commercial value was more than $145,000.
Just five tonnes of baldchin groper was landed in other west coast fisheries combined. A tiny fraction was taken on the south coast.
Management measures include restricting access to a limited number of permit holders.
In recent years, concerns about overfishing of demersal (bottom-dwelling) fish, including baldchin groper, in the West Coast Bioregion (from east of Augusta to north of Kalbarri), led to new management measures. Introduced measures include a closure to wetline and demersal gillnet and longline fishing from Lancelin to Mandurah for commercial fishers.
The main management aim is to keep catches of all scalefish, of demersal species, and of ‘indicator species’, including baldchin groper, at less than 50 per cent of 2005/06 catch levels.
(Baldchin groper is an indicator species in the West Coast Bioregion, which means its stock status is used to indicate the status of all inshore demersal species in the region.)