Discussions about industry-proposed trial
No decision will be made until the views of all parties are taken into account
Consultation closes on March 10, 2016
The Department of Fisheries will host a public meeting in Carnarvon on Thursday, March 3 to receive feedback on commercial fishing sector proposals to trial the use of fish traps.
Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said the commercial fishermen had approached the State Government in January about a trial because they were worried about the impact of shark depredation (bite-offs) on their line-caught fish and had suggested traps as a supplementary method of fishing.
This had caused widespread concern about the impact of the traps on fish stocks and recreational fishing.
"I want to make it clear that no decision has been made on the trap trial," Mr Baston said.
"The consultation period has been extended to March 10, 2016 so there is an opportunity for all points of view to be heard."
Representatives from the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council, the peak body for commercial fishing; and Recfishwest, representing the recreational fishing sector, are invited to the meeting. A Department of Fisheries research scientist will also attend.
The use of fish traps was widespread in the Gascoyne region from the late 1950s until the late 1980s. Traps were phased out to minimise conflict between the commercial line and trap sectors and because the large traps used at the time resulted in scale-loss.
Today, the Gascoyne demersal scalefish fishery is quota managed, with a limit on the amount of fish commercial fishers can land each year regardless of the fishing method.
The proposal is based on the same trap design used in two existing fish trap fisheries operating off the Pilbara and Kimberley coastline. These fisheries supply high-quality fresh fish to the Western Australian domestic market. They use modern fish traps and excellent handling techniques.
The public meeting will be held at 5.30pm on Thursday, March 3 in The Woolshed Room at the Carnarvon Civic Centre.
Minister's office - 6552 5400