Jon Ford

Jon Ford

Minister for Employment Protection; Regional Development; Fisheries; the Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne

    Spawning closures protect Perth's pink snapper

    19/08/2005 12:00 AM

    Fisheries Minister Jon Ford has approved fishing closures and a maximum size limit to protect pink snapper breeding stocks in the metropolitan area.

    Tagging studies show that pink snapper migrate into Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds in late winter and early spring, forming spawning aggregations.

    “These spawning schools are the major known pink snapper breeding grounds for the entire coastal strip between Mandurah and Lancelin,” Mr Ford said.

    “There is a lesson to be learned from Shark Bay, where pink snapper stocks are recovering well from severe overfishing.

    “The overwhelming success of protecting fish stock during the peak breeding season proved far more effective in Shark Bay than simply imposing bag limits.

    “In Cockburn Sound, the growth of recreational fishing has been especially alarming in recent years, with boats specifically targeting spawning pink snapper.”

    The Minister has approved the following measures:
    • a ban on catching pink snapper in Cockburn and Warnbro Sound between October 1 and December 15 each year (applies to professional and recreational fishers);
    • fishers who catch pink snapper further off the coast during the closure must NOT stop to fish for other species in the restricted area, if they are returning to boat ramps inside Cockburn or Warnbro Sound;
    • a recreational daily bag limit of four pink snapper still applies on the west coast fishing region (Kalbarri to Augusta); and
    • the minimum size limit is still 41cm, and to protect pink snapper breeders in the metropolitan area between Dawesville and Two Rocks, fishers are only allowed one fish over 70cm.
    Mr Ford said the closures were about preserving pink snapper stocks for future generations and protecting Western Australia’s unique lifestyle and environment.

    Minister's office: 9425 4200