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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Wednesday 15 February 2023

Ocean conditions for Saturday's West Coast Zone abalone fishing hour

The final West Coast Zone (WCZ) recreational abalone fishing session for the 2022/23 season will be held this Saturday, with another hour’s fishing for licence holders scheduled between 7am and 8am, but Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) is urging fishers to proceed with caution.

This session is only for fishing between Busselton Jetty and Moore River as no recreational abalone fishing is allowed north of Moore River, until further notice. The abalone fishing closure extends along Western Australia’s coast to the Northern Territory border.

Please note that for those fishers who walk across to Penguin Island on designated abalone fishing dates you need to be aware of new DBCA closures that apply when the forecast temperature for the day is 35 degrees or more. Boat fishers will still be able to fish for abalone offshore from Penguin Island, provided vessel occupants don’t go onto the island when the closures are in place.
This weekend, on the Perth coast, abalone fishers are expected to encounter moderate temperatures around 19 degrees and generally a higher swell at the more exposed beaches within the northern zones of the fishery. Advice from SLSWA indicates fishers should proceed with caution because of medium weather and ocean risks for collecting abalone. SLSWA’s surf prediction modelling predicts variable factors fishers will encounter with a low tide between 0.3 metres to 0.5 metres and an average wave height of 1.4 metres, which could be higher in the Peel Region and Perth’s Northern Metropolitan areas. Considering this, fishers should be aware that water will likely surge across the reef tops, making the reefs risky around holes and drop offs.  

SLSWA modelling uses the best available information on conditions from a variety of sources and rates the risks for factors like wind speed, wave height, tide, swell period and direction. Saturday’s one hour fishing session should see medium offshore winds around 12 knots, gusting to 17 knots. Fishers are urged to evaluate the conditions themselves when they get to their fishing location to ensure they have the water skills to safely manage the conditions. 

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Senior Fisheries Management Officer Nick Blay said fishers would need to act responsibly and we urge them not enter the water if they’re not confident in their own ocean ability or have low swimming skills.

“We also urge abalone fishers to have suitable clothing and gear for abalone fishing,” Mr Blay said.

“Saturday’s fishing session is the last one for the WCZ season, so let’s keep the focus on safety.”  

Fishers need 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​

Last modified: 15/02/2023 3:02 PM

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