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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Shark commercial fishing

Commercial shark fishing in Western Australia takes place in the north and south of the State.

The northern and southern shark fisheries have a State and joint-authority management component due to the distribution of several shark stocks across state boundaries.

Both fisheries also operate under Commonwealth approvals.​​

The Northern Shark Fishery comprises the State-managed WA North Coast Shark Fishery in the Pilbara and western Kimberley, and the Joint Authority Northern Shark Fishery in the eastern Kimberley.

The Southern Shark Fishery, made up of the southern and west coast demersal gillnet and longline fisheries, operates in continental shelf waters along the south and lower west coasts of the State. The majority of operators use demersal gillnets to target sharks, with scalefish also making up a small part of the catch.

The main species targeted are the dusky whaler, sandbar, gummy and whiskery sharks. The flesh of sharks caught off the coast of Western Australia is highly regarded and commercially important.

The meat is mostly sold in South-western WA and some in Victoria mainly for fish ‘n’ chips. The valuable fins are exported to South-east Asia for use in shark fin soup. Regulations prohibit any take of shark for fins alone.

For further information about commercial catch and effort please refer to the Status reports of the fisheries and aquatic resources of Western Australia. This publication should be read in conjunction with our Annual Report.

Last modified: 3/05/2019 3:05 PM

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