Catch and re­lease peril for snap­per

Kwinana Courier - - News -

Warn­ing for fish­ing for snap­per in Cock­burn and Warnbro sounds

RE­SEARCHERS warn catch­ing and re­leas­ing pink snap­per for sport af­ter bag­ging the two-fish limit risks un­nec­es­sary deaths and threat­ens breed­ing.

The warn­ing was made be­fore Cock­burn and Warnbo sounds close for pink snap­per fish­ing at mid­night on Septem­ber 30.

“There is ev­i­dence in some de­m­er­sal scale­fish species that cap­ture prior to spawn­ing can cause that fish to skip spawn­ing or re­duce the spawn­ing suc­cess of that fish,” Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment fish­eries man­age­ment of­fi­cer Shane Wal­ters said.

He said the por­tion of pink snap­per that die af­ter re­lease can have a “sig­nif­i­cant im­pact” on stock if a high num­ber was put back into the water.

Since the 2005 ex­pan­sion of the closed sea­son, a grow­ing num­ber of boat, shore and kayak fish­ers target early ar­rivals of the fish be­fore their spring and sum­mer spawn­ing.

While each fisher is lim­ited to keep­ing two snap­per, which can grow to 1m, the bounty causes many to con­tinue catch­ing.

Mr Wal­ters said fish­ers should know some re­leased pink snap­per die be­cause of be­ing brought up from depths, han­dling, hooks and in­juries, and sharks eat­ing the weak­ened fish.

Re­search in­di­cates snap­per born in 2005 are now about 6kg and 80cm, but the num­ber of ju­ve­niles varies greatly dur­ing each breed­ing sea­son across the sounds, with only one or two strong years each decade.

Pink snap­per and closed sea­son in­for­ma­tion is avail­able at www.fish.wa. gov.au.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d486141

Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment and Fish­eries of­fi­cers Brett Crisa­fulli, Shane Wal­ters and Shannon Cash.

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