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> Recreational Fishing Restrictions Perth, Types of fish, fishing season dates, fishing methods
Ben
post Jun 25 2008, 12:10 AM
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Fisheries Minister Jon Ford today said the wide-ranging package of changes to save some of Western Australia's most popular and iconic oceanic fish species for recreational fishing, which would apply from October 15, was designed to ensure the sustainability of fish populations along the West Coast Bioregion and at the same time preserve the enjoyment of the recreational fishing experience for Western Australians. The package comes after a nine-month consultation and planning process which was triggered after scientific research showed that populations of some key ‘indicator’ species - including dhufish and pink snapper were in dire straits. The research showed that populations of ‘at risk’ species in the West Coast Bioregion could collapse in just a few years, unless recreational and commercial catches of these species was drastically reduced by at least 50 per cent. The West Coast Bioregion stretches from north of Kalbarri to east of Augusta. “The whole point of today’s fish conservation package is to ensure that some of our most popular species can survive so Western Australians can continue enjoying their most favourite pastime,” the Minister said. “By acting now, we can start rebuilding stocks so they can return to sustainable numbers. “This fish conservation package will see recreational fishing catches of some of our most vulnerable fish species reduced by more than 50 per cent in the first 16 months. “There will be some adjustments for people to make, but the benefits of that are priceless. It means recreational fishing will become far more sustainable, ensuring a quality experience for more fishers and their families for generations to come.”
Among the species to gain better protection under the package will be the so-called ‘Vulnerable 5’:
  • dhufish,
  • pink snapper,
  • baldchin groper,
  • breaksea cod and
  • red snapper.
“While fishing for the Vulnerable 5 species of fish will not be allowed for a few months every year, there will be scores of other fish species that people will be able to catch along the West Coast Bioregion. “The entire package will not apply to people fishing for the usual fish species caught from beaches, jetties and groynes and nor will it apply to a large number of species which can be caught from boats, such as herring, whiting, skippy, tailor or squid.”
The seasonal restriction will be implemented in stages, giving holidaymakers and businesses some time to adjust, particularly in the first year when the season will run from October 15 to December 25 in 2008. The season will then run from October 15 to January 31 in 2009-10, and from October 1 to January 31 for subsequent years. The timing and duration of the seasonal restriction were the key factors to ensure it was effective as the main tool in the package for achieving a 50 per cent catch reduction. The timing of the seasonal restriction may also provide some additional protection during the spawning season for some species.
Mr Ford said there had been positive and helpful feedback in the 1,300 submissions received during the last public consultation period, in response to recommended changes released by the Minister in March. “The submissions helped us to fine tune the fish package so that it can best achieve a workable balance between the social value of recreational fishing and the need to save our fish for the future,” he said. The Minister said that while the fishing package was aimed at improving the sustainability of recreational fishing, the commercial fishing sector had already undergone considerable changes recently to make its contribution to improved sustainability. These changes included a ban on the commercial catch of scalefish and sharks in the metropolitan fishing zone.
“It is now time for the recreational fishing community to play its part to save our fish so that we can have fish for current generations as well as fish for the future,” Mr Ford said.
Details of the package for recreational fishing in the West Coast Bioregion:
The daily bag limit for Category 1 fish to be reduced from seven to four fish.
The daily bag limit for pink snapper to be reduced from four to two fish.
The size limit for pink snapper to be increased from 41cm to 45cm in October, 2008 and then from 45cm to 50cm in 2010 for the metropolitan and South-West zones only (Lancelin to Augusta).
A boat limit of two daily bag limits of Category 1 fish to be introduced. Where five or more fishers are on board a recreational or charter boat, an additional two Category 1 fish per person (over and above the boat limit) will be allowed for the fifth and additional fishers.
A seasonal restriction that prohibits the take, landing and possession of the Vulnerable 5 species: dhufish, pink snapper, baldchin groper, breaksea cod and red snapper. The season will run from October 15 to December 25 in 2008, October 15 to January 31 in 2009-2010 and October 1 to January 31 for subsequent years.
  1. A daily bag limit of one Category 1 fish to apply to spear fishing on compressed air.
  2. The use of power assisted fishing reels to be prohibited (with exemptions for disabled fishers.
Discussions with fishing clubs to be initiated to discourage public fishing competitions from targeting high risk species.
The finfish possession limit to be reduced at the Abrolhos Islands Fish and Fish Habitat Protection Area to 10kg of fillets (or pieces of fish) or one day’s bag limit of whole fish. The possession limit will remain in place for at least two years while a review to assess the option of managing the Abrolhos Islands as a ‘no take away’ area is undertaken.
A voluntary logbook program to be established for Category 1 demersal fish (ocean-bottom dwelling fish), including the Vulnerable 5 species, to provide additional catch and effort information.
A Recreational Trust Fund to be established to enable the recreational sector to have meaningful input into determining expenditure priorities.
Further research to be undertaken to investigate the appropriateness of introducing large scale fish reserves or closed areas to provide protection for large numbers of fish or over an area which is particularly important to spawning.

Funding
The Western Australian Government has committed $5.3million in additional fishing research funds over the next four years to continue to monitor fish stocks and observe the impact of this recreational fishing management package (in conjunction with the new commercial fishing arrangements). There will be an ongoing review of the effectiveness of these management arrangements.
An additional $7.8million has also been committed to assist in education and compliance resourcing for marine finfish fisheries in the West Coast Bioregion over the same period.
Mr Ford said the further fish research would be vital in guiding future decisions, but he was confident that fishers and other members of the Western Australian community were committed to the achievement of a balance between the social value of recreational fishing and the need to ensure Western Australia's fish stocks were managed in a sustainable way.

Details of the recreational fishing management changes are available in the Ministerial Decisions Paper, which is available online at the Department of Fisheries website at http://www.fish.wa.gov.au Click on the ‘Protecting Our Fish For the Future’ icon.


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Ben, Skype "Perth-", Western Australia
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Ben
post Oct 8 2008, 02:43 PM
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Fisheries Minister Norman Moore has announced a revised package of recreational fishing rules in Perth to manage finfish species under pressure on Western Australia’s West Coast.

Reduced bag limits, increased size requirements, a boat limit for high-risk fish, new possession limits of 10kg of fillets at the Abrolhos Islands fish protection area and a recreational fishers’ logbook program to aid research are among the raft of measures.

Mr Moore deferred a decision regarding the previous proposal to impose seasonal bans on fishing for those species which have come under increased pressure. “Research shows dhufish, pink snapper and baldchin groper are over-fished in the West Coast bioregion (between north of Kalbarri to east of Augusta),” the Minister said. “The West Coast bioregion has a number of fish species that live on or near the ocean floor. These demersal (bottom-dwelling) species - considered an indicator species for other bottom-dwelling fish - are under increased pressure as our population grows.”

The Minister found a strong case to reduce fishing pressure after considering management options made public by the previous Labor government. “However, I am concerned that the previously proposed closed seasons for recreational fishing may not be the most effective approach,” he said. “Consequently, I have approved the workable elements in the previous management package as an interim measure, while I consider further action.

“The revised recreational fishing rules will still include reductions in daily bag and boat limits and an increase in the minimum legal size for pink snapper.” Mr Moore said the revised regulations would take effect in January 2009, at the same time new arrangements for the commercial fishing sector also took effect.

“The commercial fishing sector has been subjected to significant changes, including a ban on the commercial catch of scalefish and sharks in the metropolitan fishing zone,” he said. The Minister said there had been substantial reductions in the effort for the commercial demersal gillnet and longline fishery and, from January, commercial wetline fishers would also operate under amended management plan arrangements to reduce their catch.

“Recreational fishers also need to reduce their take of ‘at risk’ fish species,” he said. “However, in accordance with our pre-election policy commitment, I will defer adopting the previously proposed closed season for these key demersal species (between October 15 and December 25) until an independent review is carried out on the various research and management options.”

Details of the new recreational fishing management changes are available on the Department of Fisheries website at http://www.fish.wa.gov.au
Click on the Protecting Our Fish For the Future icon on the home page.


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Ben, Skype "Perth-", Western Australia
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Ben
post Dec 12 2008, 03:42 PM
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Recreational Fishing Management Perth - Scientific Fisheries Research

Fisheries Minister Norman Moore today announced the appointment of two independent experts to assess the scientific advice and proposed options to manage recreational fishing of highly vulnerable finfish species. Mr Moore said the fisheries management reviewer was Peter Neville, who has broad experience in fisheries management. Mr Neville was a former Deputy Director General of the Queensland Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries and currently chair of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation. “The research review will be undertaken out by Michael O’Neill, a well respected specialist in stock assessment, mathematical modelling, survey techniques, fish ageing and taxonomy,” he said. Mr O’Neill is a principal fisheries scientist at Queensland’s Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries. The Minister said the independent experts would begin immediately and he expected to be presented with their reports by April. Mr Moore said the latest fish research showed that popular demersal (bottom-dwelling) species such as dhufish, pink snapper and baldchin groper stocks were under pressure in the West Coast Bioregion (north of Kalbarri to east of Augusta). He had accepted there was a strong case to reduce fishing pressure, but was concerned some of the previous government’s proposed management changes were not the most effective options. “There are rule changes I have already agreed to that will come into effect for recreational fishers in January - such as reduced bag limits, increased size limits and a boat limit for high-risk finfish,” the Minister said. “Before considering further action I would like an evaluation of the options by independent and eminently qualified experts. “It is vital we get an independent assessment of the management options and an updated review of all the scientific data and assessments now available on the current status of the key indicator species.”

Details of the new recreational fishing management rules to come into force in January are available at http://www.fish.wa.gov.au. Click on the ‘Fish For the Future’ icon.


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Ben, Skype "Perth-", Western Australia
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