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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Wednesday 11 January 2023

Ocean conditions for January's West Coast Zone abalone fishing session

The West Coast Zone (WCZ) recreational abalone fishing season continues this Saturday, with another hour’s fishing scheduled between 7am and 8am, but only between Busselton Jetty and Moore River.

No recreational abalone fishing is allowed north of Moore River, until further notice, while stocks continue to recover to a sustainable level, after being significantly impacted in 2011’s marine heatwave. This closure extends along Western Australia’s coast to the Northern Territory border.
This weekend, along the Perth coast, abalone fishers will encounter low to medium weather and ocean risks for collecting abalone, so they should proceed with caution due to the variable factors that can occur across the fishing locations. Surf Life Saving WA’s (SLSWA) surf prediction modelling predicts waves near one metre and a 0.6 metre rising tide, meaning fishers can expect water to surge across the top of reefs making them risky around holes and drop offs.  

The SLSWA modelling uses the best available information on conditions from a variety of sources and rates the risks for factors such as wind speed, wave height, tide, swell period and direction. Saturday’s temperature for the fishing session will be about 19 degrees with moderate offshore winds around 16 knots, gusting to around 21 knots.   

As with any abalone fishing, licensed fishers taking part will need to evaluate the ocean and weather conditions themselves this Saturday morning to ensure they have sufficient water skills to manage the conditions safely. 

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) Senior Fisheries Management Officer Nick Blay said fishers needed to take note of the risk rating and it was very important that participants had suitable clothing and gear for abalone fishing.

“Fishers need to take responsibility and not enter the water if their ocean ability or swimming skills are low,” Mr Blay said. “An abalone is not worth anyone risking their life for.”

“We appreciate the services of the SLSWA volunteers who will be monitoring Saturday’s WCZ fishing session. If they speak with you, please take their advice and always fish safely.”

Next month, subject to safe fishing conditions, two more 7am-8am fishing hours are planned for the season on Saturday 4 February and Saturday 18 February. 

Fishers are reminded to familiarise themselves with the rules relating to abalone fishing, which are available in the Abalone recreational fishing guide and on the recreational fishing rules website

We also urge anyone heading to WA’s beaches at any time to switch on their Sea Sense – check or download the SharkSmart WA app​. The app combines latest shark activity, as well as beach safety features such as Surf Life Saving WA patrolled beaches and weather forecasts, to help people plan their trips to the ocean.

Last modified: 11/01/2023 3:03 PM

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