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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Friday 25 March 2022

More herring to be available to WA seafood markets

The recovery of Western Australia’s herring stock has been good news for WA and both the commercial and recreational fishing sectors will work together to develop a future management strategy to guide the sustainable use of the popular finfish species.

A working group will soon be established to develop a strategy for the 2023 herring season and beyond that will protect the fishery, the recreational lifestyle we enjoy and allow for growth in commercial fishing opportunities to help deliver an increase of herring for human consumption. 

With a potential sustainable catch of 667 tonnes of herring, Recfishwest has undertaken consultation on a possible change to the herring bag limit and will be providing its advice to the Minister for Fisheries in the next week. 

An exemption has also been granted by the Minister for Fisheries to enable commercial G-trap fishers, who wish to fish during the 2022 season, to take a limited catch of herring at just three beaches on WA’s South Coast.

The exemption, which is supported by the WA Fishing Industry Council, Recfishwest and the Southern Seafood Producers WA, provides for a total catch for this season of 70 tonnes, which can only be caught from 4pm today and through until 9am on 30 June 2022.

For this limited season, fishing operations will be allowed for only four licence-holders who each have one beach they’re assigned to fish at under the exemption. The authorised G-trap herring licensees will be able to fish at Cheynes Beach, Bettys Beach and Triglow Beach.   

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD’s) Director of Aquatic Resource Management, Nathan Harrison said with the most recent stock assessment finding that WA’s herring stock had fully recovered, the focus would now be on delivering benefits to the WA community.

“Increasing the source of fresh herring for processing at Albany Seafoods, for example, will help them produce a greater volume and variety of seafood products that, in turn, will help to support jobs and local industry in the Great Southern,” Mr Harrison said.

“Albany Seafoods has made a significant investment in facilities and infrastructure to develop seafood markets for greater human consumption of sardines and salmon and a greater supply of herring will assist them and other WA fish processing factories to expand their markets. 

“The WA Government has also supplied Albany Seafoods with grants totalling $250,000 that will help to increase its capacity to freeze and process more seafood per day.

   Albany Seafoods is already geared up to process more herring

“Herring is a popular fish often described as one of WA’s “bread and butter” species, and it will be good to see more of it available at seafood markets, either as fresh fish or as packaged herring products.”


Last modified: 25/03/2022 11:42 AM

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