Hon Ken Baston MLC

Hon Ken Baston MLC

Former Minister for Agriculture and Food; Fisheries

    Project aims to bring oysters back to Albany

    21/09/2015 7:30 AM
    • State Government funding to help restore Albany's oyster reefs

    Licence fees paid by Western Australian recreational fishers are being actively used to improve fishing opportunities across the State, including a major project to restore oyster reefs in Albany.


    Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said $40,000 from the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF) would be matched with $40,000 from The Nature Conservancy Australia, to help identify or establish suitable habitat in Oyster Harbour and restock it with juvenile oysters.


    Mr Baston said millions of larvae would be grown into juvenile oysters to help restock Oyster Harbour.


    "Oysters are in low numbers in the harbour and, if numbers can be increased through stock enhancement, a new fish habitat will be created to improve the health of the ecosystem," he said.


    "That will boost fish stocks in Oyster Harbour and eventually offer flow-on effects for the quality of the local Albany fishing experience.


    "Recfishwest will partner with The Nature Conservancy Australia, The University of Western Australia and South Coast Natural Resource Management to make this innovative project happen and I look forward to seeing the broad range of benefits for fishers."


    The Minister said recreational fishing was one of WA's most popular activities, with about one-third of the population dropping a line, crab net or lobster pot into the water each year.


    "The value the community places on recreational fishing is why the State Government has committed funding to a range of restocking and habitat enhancement projects," he said.


    "In other projects funded through the RFIF, we are restocking Lake Kununurra with barramundi, putting prawns back into the Swan River and releasing mulloway into coastal waters and estuaries.


    "Each year, 25 per cent of the revenue raised from the sale of recreational fishing licences is set aside to fund projects to boost recreational fishing quality in WA."


    Fact File

    • Native flat oysters will be raised at a Frenchman Bay hatchery to harvest larvae
    • Since 2011, more than $7 million has been allocated through RFIF for restocking, artificial reefs and research projects
    • For more information, visit http://www.recfishwest.org.au

    Minister's office - 6552 5400