Ban on fish­ing for south­ern garfish

Southern Telegraph - - Telegraph News - David Sal­vaire

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.

Pic­ture: Nathan Har­ri­son

South­ern garfish.

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