- West coast recreational rock lobster season opens one month earlier
Season opens today and will run for eight months to June 30, 2014
Early opening coincides with the two-month demersal species closure
Western Australia’s recreational rock lobster fishers will be able to drop their pots from today, with the season opening four weeks before the traditional start date of November 15.
Fisheries Minister Troy Buswell said the initiative would give more opportunities for recreational fishers to take their share of the catch.
The change was requested by Recfishwest after a review showed recreational fishers continue to take less than the five per cent of the sustainable rock lobster catch allocated to them.
“This is a win for our recreational rock lobster fishers because it gives them an extra month to catch their quota and also provides anglers with an alternative during the two-month demersal scalefish closure that begins today in the west coast bioregion,” Mr Buswell said.
“It is an example of balancing the need for sustainability controls in one fishery, with the capacity to relax rules in another to maintain a quality recreational fishing experience.”
For the 2013-14 season, the total allowable recreational catch is set at 388 tonnes which is seen as being sustainable for the western rock lobster resource.
The Minister said the decision to extend the season followed the Government’s move last year to relax several rules for recreational lobster fishers, including an increase in the daily bag limit.
The early start to the 2013-14 season applies to the west coast from Black Point (east of Augusta) to North West Cape, but won’t include the Abrolhos Islands where the season begins on March 15.
The traditional lobster season of November 15 to June 30 will still apply for the south coast, where southern rock lobster is the main species. Rock lobster fishing seasons do not apply north of North West Cape.
Minister’s office - 6552 6400