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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds pink snapper spawning closure extension

To provide additional protection for spawning pink snapper, the date and area for the Cockburn and Warnbro sounds pink snapper spawning closure has been extended from 1 September to 31 January now extending north to Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour and west to the inside of Five Fathom Bank (see map below).

For more information about our latest scientific resarch into this stock, visit our West Coast pink snapper in-depth page.



It is illegal to fish for pink snapper, or be in possession of pink snapper while line fishing, in the closed waters during the closed season. Line fishing for other species from a boat is allowed as long as there is no pink snapper on board. However, pink snapper taken outside the closed area may be transported through the closure area as long as no line fishing is undertaken.

Protecting spawning pink snapper

Pink snapper in the West Coast Bioregion are currently in recovery.

Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds and Owen Anchorage is the site of the largest known aggregations of pink snapper in the West Coast Bioregion and is critical for sustaining adequate breeding stocks.

Our research shows that pink snapper begin to gather in Cockburn Sound in August and September in readiness to spawn.

The success of pink snapper’s spawning events varies significantly from year to year, with only one or two strong years each decade when large numbers of fish make it through to adulthood and can contribute to future stocks.

Good catches of pink snapper by recreational and charter fishers in the West Coast Bioregion over the last few years have been mainly comprised from a limited number of dominant year classes (e.g. 2007).

The targeting of pink snapper as they move in to Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds to spawn is also likely to have an impact on the effectiveness of the spawning closure and therefore on the pink snapper stock as a whole.

This highlights the importance of protecting pink snapper migrating and gathering to spawn to ensure as many new fish are added to the stock when favourable conditions occur.

For more information about our latest scientific resarch into this stock, go to our West Coast pink snapper in-depth page.

Last modified: 15/07/2019 1:39 PM

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