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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Shark recreational fishing

Some anglers in northern WA target larger sharks such as tiger or mako sharks for sport fishing. In the south, a few beach anglers catch whalers, gummy sharks and wobbegongs, sometimes accidentally when sharks take bait intended for other species.

There is a Statewide total ban on catching grey nurse, white, speartooth or whale sharks.

Other species of sharks may be taken as part of a mixed species bag of large pelagic finfish.  

There are bag limits and in some cases, size limits. In addition, if you are fishing with the use of a powered boat, you require a Recreational Fishing from Boat Licence.  

Size limits

In the West Coast and South Coast​ bioregions, but not other areas, whaler sharks have a maximum size limit. 

The 'inter-dorsal fin' measurement must be no more than 700 mm measured from the front of the dorsal fin on the top of the shark to the back of the smaller rear dorsal fin.

The limit has been imposed due to overfishing of larger sharks, however, bigger sharks may also be unsuitable for human consumption because of the risk of higher than recommended concentrations of heavy metals in their flesh.

Whaler shark species include the dusky shark, bronze whaler, sandbar ‘thickskin’ shark, spinner shark and bull shark.

Fishing rules

Information on fishing rules for sharks including size and bag limits can be found online or in our Statewide Recreational fishing guide.

Last modified: 3/03/2021 1:05 PM

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