Hon Norman Moore BA DipEd JP MLC

Hon Norman Moore BA DipEd JP MLC

Former Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Fisheries; Electoral Affairs

    Protected species status for Weedy Sea Dragons

    24/06/2011 12:00 AM

    Western Australia’s Weedy Sea Dragons would be declared a protected species under new regulations to be approved by the State Government.


    Fisheries Minister Norman Moore said the recreational harvesting of the marine creatures would be prohibited under the changed regulation.


    “Weedy Sea Dragons currently fall under the default recreational fishing daily bag limit of 30 which applies to any fish species that does not have a prescribed bag limit,” Mr Moore said.


    “That potentially exposes the Weedy Sea Dragon to unsustainable harvests, and unnecessary risk, which is easily managed by declaring them a protected species.


    “An exemption will allow licensed commercial operators in the Marine Aquarium Fish Managed Fishery to continue to take Weedy Sea Dragons for the aquarium trade.”


    The Minister said commercial collection was monitored by the Department of Fisheries and this would continue to ensure catches remained at historically low levels.


    “This fishery has been assessed as sustainable, so it is important it continues to be managed sustainably and that this unique species is protected for future generations,” he said.


    Mr Moore said the move was supported by Recfishwest through discussions with Scarborough MLA Liza Harvey who had strongly promoted the species’ protection.


    “The Weedy Sea Dragons are related to sea horses and considered by some cultures as highly valuable for alternative medicine.  Making them a protected species removes any risk of this becoming an issue in WA waters and I was happy to support the change,” he said. 


    The Minister said the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council had been advised of the planned changes.


    Minister's office - 9422 3000