Applications for the 2014 tag lottery open at 12.01 am on Monday, 14 October 2013 and close at 4pm on Sunday, November 10, 2013.
You can also download the application form.
The tags will allow fishers to catch pink snapper in Shark Bay’s Freycinet Estuary. Of the 1,400 tags available, 1,050 tags will be allocated to recreational fishers and the remaining 350 distributed to commercial fishers.
Recreational fishers will be allowed a maximum of two tags for the calendar year.
Note: Only one application per person will be accepted.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need a tag to take a pink snapper caught in Freycinet Estuary?
Yes. You need a tag to take, land or be in possession of pink snapper in Freycinet Estuary (south of 26 degrees 13’ south latitude) or within 50 metres of the high water mark of Freycinet Estuary.
If I catch a snapper somewhere else in Shark Bay can I land it through Freycinet Estuary?
No (see above).
If I hold two pink snapper tags, can I catch both my pink snapper on the same day?
Can I release legal-sized pink snapper I catch so that I can catch bigger ones to tag and take home?
No. Any legal-sized pink snapper you keep must be tagged immediately on capture. If you don't have a snapper tag and you catch a pink snapper in Freycinet Estuary, you must release it immediately. You can be prosecuted for not complying.
How much does each tag cost?
The cost is $10 per tag and you can apply for a maximum of two tags.
Can I give or sell my tags to someone else
No. You may not sell a tag. You may not give a tag to anyone else to use, including family members. Only the person who is issued the tag is entitled to fish for pink snapper and use the tag.
How do I fix the tag to a snapper?
Pass the tag through the unsevered bottom jaw and secure it through the tag’s locking device in such a way that the tag is locked and intact and can’t be reused.
What happens if after landing the tagged snapper I want to fillet it?
All fish must be landed whole in Shark Bay. If you want to fillet your tagged pink snapper onshore, the tag must remain with the fillets. These fillets, along with the tag, must be stored in a separate container.
How does the Department of Fisheries decide who receives tags?
A random number generator is used to select who will receive tags.
How and when will I know if I have been successful in the lottery?
All applicants, whether successful or not, will be contacted by post in mid-November.
Can I get a refund on tags I don't use?
No. The cost of the recreational fishing tags is to cover administration therefore no refunds are available.
Why is the tag system used?
Due to the depleted condition of snapper stocks in Freycinet Estuary, setting an absolute limit on the total catch is the only way to rebuild stocks and ensure their long-term sustainability. Using only bag and size limits has only a limited capacity to manage the recreational catch.
My friend says this is a revenue raising exercise and that there are plenty of fish in the Freycinet Estuary. Is this true?
No. Extensive scientific research has shown that pink snapper stocks in Denham Sound, Freycinet Estuary and the Eastern Gulf are separate and don’t mix with the wide-ranging ocean stock, and require special management arrangements.
These pink snapper stocks are vulnerable to overfishing and at one stage were badly depleted. Pink snapper stocks in the Eastern Gulf and Denham Sound have now recovered to above internationally acceptable sustainable levels. However, a tag lottery system remains in place for taking pink snapper in Freycinet Estuary, where the stock is on course to reach a sustainable level.
The tag system is designed to ensure the long-term sustainability of stocks while still allowing some people the opportunity to catch a pink snapper in Freycinet Estuary.
Do commercial fishers have to pay for their tags?
No. Only commercial fishers who are authorised to fish in the Shark Bay Beach Seine and Mesh Net Managed Fishery (SBF) can catch pink snapper in Freycinet Estuary (taken as bycatch in their nets). In line with the current cost-recovery agreement for the commercial fishing industry, licensees contribute to management costs of the fishery. As they already contribute substantially, they are not charged additional fees for snapper tags.