Ban on fishing for southern garfish
Fishing of southern garfish has been banned along Perth’s coastline after tests in Cockburn Sound revealed numbers had declined.
The area between Lancelin and Myalup, is closed to both recreational and commercial fishing for southern garfish until further notice.
Department of Fisheries South West bioregions manager Tim Nicholas said fishers were still permitted to take robust garfish, also known as three-bytwo and storm garfish, in the closed area. He said the stock assessment showed the fishery needed to stay closed to protect the breeding stock until southern garfish numbers rebounded.
“The department believes the southern garfish stock issues are being driven by a combination of environmental and fishing pressures,” Mr Nicholas said.
“While we can’t control the environment, we can adapt our fishing to reduce fishing pressure on the stock and allow the stock to recover and closures are effective in achieving this.
“The Department of Fisheries will continue to monitor the stock to check the progress of the recovery.”
He said the department had spoken with Recfishwest, the WA Fishing Industry Council and commercial fishers to “work through the science and formulate management responses to aid the recovery of the stock”.
“The department has a proven track record for identifying and dealing with specific issues for fish stocks and, with the help of the sector bodies who take their stewardship roles very seriously, has developed strategies that have previously resulted in the recovery of fish stocks,” he said.
The department said fishers are reminded to release any southern garfish caught in the closed area, to help ensure there will be southern garfish for the future.