Sur­vey re­veals more North West fish­ing

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - Tom Zaun­mayr

■ The North West was the only area in WA to see an­glers spend more hours on the wa­ter, ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of Fish­eries’ bi­en­nial sur­vey.

DoF strate­gic fish­eries pol­icy man­ager Nathan Har­ri­son said the sta­tis­tics were a re­flec­tion of the im­por­tance of fish­ing to the cul­ture of the North West.

“Peo­ple in the North West place a sig­nif­i­cant value on the op­por­tu­nity to go fish­ing,” he said.

“You have one of the high­est boat own­er­ships per capita in Aus­tralia, which shows how valu­able recre­ational fish­ing is.

Mr Har­ri­son said the sur­vey would as­sist a Statewide re­view of bag lim­its to be re­leased for pub­lic com­ment early next year.

King Bay Game Fish­ing Club pres­i­dent Len Ver­ti­gan said strong fish­ing clubs played a vi­tal role in fish­ing for recre­ation and re­search.

“Weather isn’t a fac­tor here. If you really want to go out and fish you can, whereas down south you go out to the ocean on a windy day and you’ll get the (life) beaten out of you,” he said.

“We do a lot of tag­ging — prob­a­bly 80 per cent of the fish we get reg­is­tered through the club would be tags rather than cap­ture.

“Peo­ple here have a dif­fer­ent mind­set where they re­alise we can do a fair bit of dam­age if we’re not care­ful.

Mr Ver­ti­gan said the av­er­age boat size in the Pil­bara had in­creased by about six feet in the past 20 years.

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