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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries


We work in close collaboration with many management and research​ ​​organisations to manage and our aquatic resources to ensure there will be a sustainable supply of fish in Western Australia.
The Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) is the peak industry body representing the State’s professional fishing, pearling and aquaculture enterprises as well as processors and exporters.
WAFIC is the principal source of industry advice to government on matters affecting commercial fishing and aquaculture. WAFIC is responsible for managing consultations with industry on range of our projects and initiatives. These fall into three main categories:  
  • Statutory consultation regarding the amendment or revocation of the Department of Fisheries management plans or interim management plans;
  • Consultation with licence holders: this is normally through annual meetings; and
  • Consultations on specific or one-off purposes.

We are also working closely with WAFIC to help WA’s commercial fisheries secure independent third party certification of their sustainability through the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). This accreditation will build on our already strong record in fisheries management. MSC certification is widely recognised as the ‘gold’ standard of fisheries ecosystem performance

The significance of the MSC tick of approval is increasingly recognised by the retail seafood industry and consumers, providing confidence that products come from sustainable fisheries.

In the recreational fishing sector, Recfishwest is the peak body representing the voice of Western Australia’s anglers (including charter boat operators). 

With an estimated 600,000 Western Australians participating in recreational fishing each year, we work closely with Recfishwest to ensure fish stocks are shared fairly and sustainably. Recfishwest also facilitates consultations with recreational fishers on our behalf.

Other partnerships

  • Working with national and state partners we endorse a compliance strategy​ that outlines the objectives that Australian fisheries agencies will pursue to promote voluntary compliance and create effective deterrence to illegal fishing activity. Voluntary compliance is when the regulated community chooses to willingly comply with rules. It outlines the principles that agencies under the umbrella of the National Fisheries Compliance Committee (NFCC) will use when planning the delivery of cost effective and efficient fisheries compliance programs.​

  • In collaboration with WAFIC and Recfishwest we are developing Fish Eye​, an integrated information system for the fisheries sector. The WA Government has provided more than $11 million for the project which will modernise the management and administration of commercial and recreational fisheries.
  • We liaise with the Department of Parks and Wildlife to develop management plans which may include specific restrictions on recreational and commercial fishing in protected areas such as marine parks, marine nature reserves and marine management areas. 
  • Our Shark Response Unit work closely with Surf Life Saving WA to develop new strategies to reduce the risk of shark interactions for beach goers and users of the aquatic environment.
  • In the education space we have teamed up with Woodside​ to develop Western Australia’s first integrated online marine science curriculum. Marine WATERs provides resources for educators and students across the State​.
  • At a national level, the Department works with Australian Fisheries Management Authority under a joint authority arrangement to manage a number of fisheries off the Western Australian coast.​​​​​​​​​
  • We are working collaboratively with the University of Western Australia's Ocean Institute, CSIRO and the Australian Institute of Marine Science to develop the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre the largest marine research partnership in the Southern Hemisphere.  

Last modified: 4/07/2022 1:55 PM

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