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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Wednesday 1 February 2023

Ocean conditions for the next West Coast Zone abalone fishing session

The West Coast Zone (WCZ) recreational abalone fishing season continues this Saturday, February 4, with another hour’s fishing for licence holders scheduled between 7am and 8am, however fishers should 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. This closure extends along Western Australia’s coast to the Northern Territory border.

Fishers who walk across to Penguin Island on designated abalone fishing dates need to be aware of new DBCA closures that apply when the forecast temperature for the day is 35 degrees or over, which is forecast to be the case this Saturday. Boat fishers can still fish for abalone offshore from Penguin Island, provided vessel occupants don’t go onto the island when the closures are in place.
This weekend, along the Perth coast, abalone fishers may encounter more challenging conditions than the January fishing session. Advice from Surf Life Saving WA (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 0.7 metres. Fishers should also note water will 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 the temperature around 24 degrees with medium offshore winds gusting to 24 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 (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 act responsibly and not enter the water if they are not confident in their own ocean ability or have low swimming skills,” Mr Blay said. 

“If surf lifesavers speak with you about safety, take their advice and please fish safely.”

This Saturday’s fishing session is the second last one for the season. The final WCZ abalone fishing hour for the summer of 2022/23 is scheduled to take place on Saturday 18 February. 

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​. The app combines latest shark activity, as well other beach safety features to keep ocean users as safe as possible.

Last modified: 1/02/2023 4:21 PM

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