An­glers and in­dus­try back shark fish­ery plan

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr and Louise Alling­ham

Plans for a com­mer­cial shark fish­ery in the North West would bring sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits to an­glers, ac­cord­ing to the re­gion’s fish­ing clubs and com­mer­cial fish­ing in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

The Pil­bara News ap­proached sev­eral recre­ational fish­ing clubs and the WA Fish­ing In­dus­try Coun­cil af­ter news of a push to re­open the North West Cape to com­mer­cial shark fish­ing emerged last week.

Ex­mouth Game Fish­ing Club pres­i­dent Jeni Gates said the lack of shark fish­ing, com­mer­cially or recre­ation­ally, had led to an im­bal­ance in the ma­rine ecosys­tem.

“The main thing that I’ve al­ways said is that peo­ple don’t un­der­stand that there are, I be­lieve, over 100 species … of shark in WA,” she said.

“They hear that a shark (species) is en­dan­gered and they think sharks are just all sharks, so they don’t un­der­stand the dif­fer­ent types of species.

“They don’t un­der­stand that some species may be vul­ner­a­ble but some of them are quite heav­ily pop­u­lated.”

WA Fish­ing In­dus­try Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive John Har­ri­son said the ex­pan­sion or re­open­ing of WA’s shark fish­ery would see many ben­e­fits.

“Ex­pand­ing WA’s shark fish­ery po­ten­tially of­fers ex­portearn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and the cre­ation of ad­di­tional WA jobs, as well as sup­ply­ing lo­cal mar­kets with sus­tain­ably sourced seafood that may be less re­spon­si­bly fished in other ju­ris­dic­tions,” he said.

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