Share your views on fish­ing rule changes

Pilbara News - - News - Tay­lar Amonini

The Depart­ment of Fish­eries has un­der­taken a ma­jor re­view of all fin­fish size-lim­ited across WA in an ef­fort to re­duce red tape and sim­plify the State’s fish­ing rules.

In the re­view, dubbed A Re­view of Size Lim­its for Fin­fish in WA, the depart­ment aims to en­sure size lim­its con­trib­ute in a mean­ing­ful way to the sus­tain­able man­age­ment of in­di­vid­ual species of fish.

Ex­am­ples of the changes in­clude re­mov­ing size lim­ited for non-sports fish such as Aus­tralian sal­mon and sam­son fish.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fice Dr Andrew Row­land said Rec­fish­west is call­ing out for the fish­ing com­mu­nity to have their say on the size limit re­view.

“At first glance, there seems to be some good ra­tio­nale be­hind some of the pro­pos­als, while other we think need more work,” he said.

“We’re re­ally keen to hear what the peo­ple on the ground think.”

With about 750,000 peo­ple go­ing fish­ing in WA every year, ac­cord­ing to Rec­fish­west, mea­sur­ing catches is an im­por­tant way fish­ers can help to main­tain healthy fish stocks.

“Many cur­rent size lim­its are a re­sult of years of ad hoc changes and the ra­tio­nale be­hind cur­rent lim­its is some­times un­clear,” Dr Row­land said.

The pol­icy on the ap­pli­ca­tion of fish size lim­its in WA was de­vel­oped af­ter re­quests from Rec­fish­west and WA’s Fish­ing In­dus­try Coun­cil and was used in the de­vel­op­ment of the re­view that is now open for com­ment. Fish­eries pol­icy and strate­gic ser­vices di­rec­tor Nathan Har­ri­son said the re­view was sci­ence based and would ben­e­fit all in­volved in fish­ing, both gov­ern­ment en­ti­ties and non-gov­ern­ment en­ti­ties.

“Where pos­si­ble, size lim­its have been simplified and stan­dard­ised for many com­monly caught species,” he said.

Given the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod as well as reg­u­la­tory pro­cesses, the size limit changes will not be ex­pected to be in place be­fore early to mid 2017, ac­cord­ing to Fish­eries.

De­tails on how to make a sub­mis­sion dur­ing the six-week con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod, which will close on De­cem­ber 23, are avail­able on the pub­lic com­ment page at www.fish.wa.gov.au.

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