Gordon Hill

Gordon Hill

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    Official opening of metro commercial abalone season

    2/10/1992 12:00 AM
     
     
    The recreational abalone fishing season in Perth and Geraldton will open this month.
     
    Fisheries Minister Gordon Hill said the season would start at 7 am on Saturday, October 17.
     
    "Research surveys indicate a good stock of legal-size abalone has built up in the past 12 months on the reef tops of Perth and Geraldton," he said.
     
    "This is a direct result of last year's extended closure."
     
    Mr Hill said abalone fishers would need to hold a $20 recreational fishing licence if they wished to catch abalone.
     
    The cost for children and pensioners would be half.
     
    "Abalone fishers must carry their licences with them and make them available to fisheries officers for inspection on the beach," the Minister said.
     
    "Because of its accessibility and popularity as a gourmet seafood, abalone is highly vulnerable to over-fishing.
     
    "In the past, the rapacious attitude of some fishers has caused major problems and led to concerns about the long-term sustainability of the recreational fishery."
     
    Mr Hill said a range of new fishing rules, designed to control fishing effort, would apply from this year.
     
    Fishing would be allowed only on weekends and public holidays between October 17 and Sunday, December 20.
     
    "The reefs between Moore River and Cape Bouvard, and between the Greenough River mouth and the Flat Rocks car park, will be open for fishing only between 7 am and 9 am," he said.
     
    "In addition, a bag limit of 20 abalone a day applies to each licensed fisher and the minimum legal size for Roe's abalone will be 60mm."
     
    Mr Hill said fishers should also be aware that special fishing rules applied in the marine reserves of Marmion Marine Park, Shoalwater Islands Marine Park and Rottnest Island.
     
    "In these areas, only abalone may be taken," he said.
     
    "All other shellfish and reef animals are protected although mussel collecting is permitted in Shoalwater Islands Marine Park."
     
    Mr Hill said the Fisheries Department would carry out a major community education campaign throughout the season.
     
    "Six temporary fisheries liaison officers will help monitor fishing activity," he said.
     
    "Two will be from an ethnic background to overcome any language difficulties.
     
    "It is crucial that all fishers recognise the need for a strong fishing conservation ethic.
     
    "Undersize abalone are next year's catch so I urge all fisheries to do the right thing and stick to the bag limit and fishing rules."
     
    Mr Hill said an after-hours hotline would be set up for people to report illegal fishing activities.
     
    A guide to fishing rules for abalone and other shellfish would be provided with licences. More copies could be obtained from the Fisheries Department.
     
    Mr Hill said recreational fishing licences for abalone were available from all Australia Post and Fisheries Department offices.