Ban begins to preserve fish stocks
South West anglers will have to press pause on their quest to land a feed of fish after a seasonal closure on West Coast demersal finfish was implemented last week.
The closure applies to the entire West Coast Bioregion, running from the 27th parallel south to Black Point, south-east of Augusta, and is designed to reduce the amount of fish being caught by limiting the total time that anglers are able to spend fishing.
Demersal finfish typically dwell on or near the ocean floor, and are usually found at depths of 20m or more.
In total, more than 100 species are protected under the closure, all of which must be returned to the water as soon as possible if caught or landed recreationally.
Some of the most popular demersal species caught in the South West include dhufish, pink snapper and breaksea cod and baldchin groper.
Areas that have proved popular with anglers include Geographe Bay, Bunbury Artificial Reef and waters off of Binningup.
Harvey Districts Water Sports Association commodore Ken Upton was in favour of the closure, citing that the strategy was working.
“I’m in favour of it for sure, I think its a good idea,” he said.
“We as a club decided that we don’t fish or hold any competitions during the closed season.”
Mr Upton said he fully supported the prosecution of those who violated the closure .
Fisheries spokesman for the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Nathan Harrison said recreational fishers across the West Coast Bioregion generally abided by the seasonal fishing closure.
“Demersal species are highly sought-after by recreational boatbased fishers in the South West,” he said.
“The high level of voluntary compliance reflects the fact that most fishers treat fish stocks with a sense of personal responsibility and stewardship.”