Plan to get more fish­ers on the hunt

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - Sam Gibbs

The State Gov­ern­ment has im­ple­mented a com­mer­cial fish­ing li­cence buy­back scheme to in­crease recre­ational fisher num­bers on the Peel-Har­vey Es­tu­ary.

The scheme will al­low for a wider recre­ational al­lo­ca­tion for the pop­u­lar blue swim­mer crab and yel­lowfin whit­ing in the wa­ter­ways near Man­durah.

Fish­eries Min­is­ter Dave Kelly said $1.5 mil­lion had been al­lo­cated to the buy­back scheme, partly from the Recre­ational Fish­ing Ini­tia­tives Fund.

“The Peel-Har­vey Es­tu­ary has been a source of con­flict be­tween the recre­ational and com­mer­cial sec­tors over ac­cess to blue swim­mer crabs and yel­lowfin whit­ing catches,” Mr Kelly said.

“This scheme is aimed at re­mov­ing that con­flict.”

Bin­ning up Fish­ing Club commo- dore Ken Up­ton said he was happy to see a big­ger catch pool for am­a­teur fish­ers.

“It’s great news, Fish­eries are on the right path cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for the recre­ational fish­ing in­dus­try,” Mr Up­ton said.

“They’ll be op­ti­mistic know­ing they can go up there and catch a feed.

“I’m happy to see Fish­eries po­lice it harder.”

Mr Up­ton said the Peel-Har­vey and Leschenault es­tu­ar­ies were the two main ar­eas in the re­gion for catch­ing blue swim­mer crabs, which are the most pop­u­lar recre­ational crab in WA.

West­ern Aus­tralian Fish­ing In­dus­try Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer John Har­ri­son said it was great to see the com­mer­cial and recre­ational in­dus­try work­ing to­gether for the greater good.

Ap­pli­ca­tions for the com­mer­cial li­cence buy­back close on April 30, 2019.

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