Fisheries Minister Jon Ford today urged recreational boat fishers to help researchers as they began a massive catch survey.
The Fisheries Department survey will cover 50 public boat ramps and more than 1,000km of coast between Kalbarri and Augusta.
“This information is vital for our assessment of fishing sustainability,” Mr Ford said.
“The recreational fishing community can help keep our fisheries healthy by assisting the researchers who may approach them at boat ramps.”
Over the next 12 months, staff from Fisheries Research will don bright red shirts and jackets and visit boat ramps to collect data on the State’s popular angling species and how we are fishing.
“We will be identifying ourselves and asking fishers a few brief questions, such as how many people were fishing, what sort of gear they used, how long and where they fished,” project leader Neil Sumner said.
“If people will let us have a look at their catch, we also need to identify, measure and count the species.”
The team will only be collecting information for research purposes, not enforcing regulations.
This is the second survey on the West Coast and researchers will be able to compare the data with the first one done in 1996-97.
“We want to see what the catch trends are, particularly for species such as Western Australian dhufish, pink snapper, baldchin groper and breaksea cod,” Mr Sumner said.
The project is the largest on-site recreational fishing survey of its kind in Australia.
“It is part of the Integrated Fisheries Management Initiative and the results will be used to estimate catches in West Coast offshore fisheries and provide information essential for management,” Mr Ford said.
“The Gallop Government is committed to protecting WA’s unique lifestyle and environment.”
Minister’s office: 9425 4200