skip to content
Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds pink snapper spawning closure

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 August to 31 January (inclusive). The closure extends north to Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour and west to the inside of Five Fathom Bank (see map below).

It is illegal to fish for pink snapper, or be in possession of pink snapper while line fishing, in the closed waters during the spawning closure. 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.

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 into 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.


Last modified: 14/04/2023 3:10 PM

© All contents copyright Government of Western Australia. All rights reserved. ABN: 18 951 343 745


© This work is copyright. You may display, print or reproduce this material only in an unaltered format for your personal or non-commercial use, or for use within your organisation. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, all other rights are reserved.


The information and advice provided by the Department of Fisheries website is made in good faith and is from sources believed to be reliable and accurate at the time of release onto the website. Changes in circumstances after a document is placed on the website may affect the accuracy of the information. Full disclaimer details are available at