Pink snapper stocks worry
THE potential effects a new outer harbour near Henderson could have on rebounding pink snapper stocks has some recreational fishers worried.
“Do you realise that’s where the snapper breed, between the Australian Marine Complex AMC in Henderson and the bulk handling facility south, and you’re going to destroy that?” snapper fisher John Donnelly said at a public meeting about a new port in Kwinana recently.
Pink snapper are slow-growing and their populations are thought to be vulnerable to “boom and bust” breeding years.
Because of this, the Sound has an annual closed season between October and February and the Department of Fisheries studies the population using donated skeletons.
A spokesman said it was not possible to comment on the port because its location, size, operations and timing had not been determined.
The State Government’s Westport Taskforce is investigating the freight and logistics needs of Perth and the South West, including any new harbour and its environmental impact, before a report at the end of next year.
Taskforce community reference group member and recreational fishing lobby Recfishwest may have to comment on different snapper breeding sites each year and the impact of any mooted new 22.5m-deep shipping channel for the port’s two potential locations, both of which are about 2km from some snapper aggregations.
“The breeding varies in different parts of the sound depending on the conditions, but our concern will be on how any development will impact the near-shore fishing experiences of fishers,” Recfishwest operations manager Leyland Campbell said.
Fishers are worried that a new port in Fremantle will have an adverse effect on pink snapper stocks.