Fishers’ fillet weight change
WEIGHT regulations for fish have changed statewide to encourage more anglers to donate their fish frames to research.
The Department of Fisheries recently changed the 20kg limit on fish fillets to exclude the fish frames, back bones and wings.
The change, gazetted in January, aims to encourage more people to take part in the Send Us Your Skeletons program.
Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said the new common-sense approach had the support of Recfishwest and would allow recreational fishers to maximise the use of the fish they catch.
“In the past, some recreational fishers have discarded the wing and backbone and only retained the fillet,” he said.
“It also provides a further incentive for fishers to provide frame samples or filleted skeletons to the department.”
The Department’s senior research scientist for finfish David Fairclough said collections of demersal species were tracking well for the 2014-15 season, with plenty donated in the north metropolitan area.
“We do need fishers to donate more snapper and dhufish from this area,” he said.
“We also importantly need frames of the key nearshore species: herring, tailor and King George whiting.
“This is particularly the case for herring, with very few herring frames donated this year in the metropolitan area and from elsewhere.
“These frames are vital to the researchers’ ability to monitor the stocks of the key species.”
In 2013-14, the Send Us Your Skeletons program received almost 7000 nearshore and demersal frames from fish caught off the west and south coasts.
Mr Baston said WA was a world leader in sustainable fisheries management and fish frames with the heads attached were vital for stock assessment.
A filleted dhufish skeleton, with the head and guts intact.