skip to content
Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Recreational fishing

​Recreational fishing at the Abrolhos Islands

Recreational fishing is a popular activity at the Abrolhos, providing important social and economic benefits to the community. Recreational fishers target a range of demersal scalefish species in the Abrolhos Fish Habitat Protection Area (FHPA) including dhufish, pink snapper, baldchin groper, breaksea cod, redthroat and spangled emperors. Rock lobster and squid are also highly sought after, as well as pelagic species such as shark, tuna and samsonfish.

To help keep our fish resources sustainable, we have developed a comprehensive set of rules for recreational fishers. By following the rules you will help maintain the fantastic fishing opportunities here in WA, ensuring there are fish for the future for you and the generations to come.

The Abrolhos fishing rules can be found online and in our Recreational fishing guide, which includes bag and size limits tables for the main species you are likely to catch at the Abrolhos.

We also have a fact sheet​ and short video​ on changes to the boat, bag and possession limits while fishing for demersal scalefish at the Abrolhos Islands, which were introduced on 1 February 2023.

There is a regulatory requirement to notify DPIRD before entering the Abrolhos FHPA by boat using an online form​. The form requests information regarding the master, vessel, number of passengers, an emergency contact and basic data relating to destination and tourism and recreational activities. The online notification requirement provides DPIRD with valuable information that can be used in medical emergencies, provision of evacuation advice, assessing aquatic biosecurity risks, and for compliance, planning and educative purposes. 

If you have any problems accessing or completing the online notification form, please contact the Geraldton office on 9920 8400.

To recognise the important wilderness values of the Abrolhos, DPIRD is also promoting the following wilderness fishing concepts to maintain world-class fishing amenity at the Abrolhos:

  • promoting low impact ‘catch to cook’ (low take, low takeaway) recreational fishing; and
  • discouraging ‘catch and release’ fishing, particularly for those demersal species that suffer a high rate of post release mortality due to barotrauma.

From 1 February 2023, fishing arrangements in the Abrolhos Islands Fish Habitat Protection Area include:

  • reduced bag limits of one demersal scalefish; and
  • reduced finfish possession limits of 5 kilograms of fillets from any species, plus 5 kg of fillets from large pelagic finfish (must have skin attached for identification purposes); OR one day's bag limit of whole or trunked fish.

A wilderness fishing code of conduct is currently being developed to educate recreational fishers and charter fishing operators around the benefits of wilderness fishing and its role in preserving fishing and marine tourism values.


Last modified: 4/05/2023 3:35 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