Survey reveals more North West fishing
■ 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.