Fish­ers’ fil­let weight change

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Work Place - Lucy Jarvis

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.

Pic­ture: De­part­ment of Fish­eries

A fil­leted dhu­fish skele­ton, with the head and guts in­tact.

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