- Community consultation and sector support helps set pink snapper strategies
- Targeted protection for spawning aggregations is vital to maintain sustainability
- A three-month fishing closure will apply in the spawning area - June 1 to August 31
Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has praised commercial and recreational fishers and the Gascoyne community for working together to establish a recovery plan for oceanic pink snapper.
The recovery plan includes the protection of a key spawning location, during the peak of the annual spawning period, about 50 kilometres off the Carnarvon coast.
From June 1, 2018 to August 31, 2018 the waters in an area north of Bernier Island, including Koks Island, will be closed to pink snapper fishing. However, other fish species can still be taken from the closure area provided recreational fishers are complying with the closure rules.
The area for the three-month closure represents about four per cent of waters traditionally fished by commercial and charter operators in the Gascoyne coast bioregion. Between June and August, up to 70 per cent of the total pink snapper catch is caught in the area.
In addition to the spawning closure, the annual commercial catch quota for pink snapper will be reduced from 277 tonnes to 50 tonnes.
With long-term sustainability the key focus for everyone, the WA Fishing Industry Council, the charter sector, Recfishwest and the majority of fishers support the spawning closure and catch reductions in the commercial sector.
Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:
"I thank all the fishing sectors, commercial, charter and recreational, for their joint responsibility towards the stewardship of this important resource.
"Pink snapper is one of the most popular fish species in WA, and all of the sectors have been proactive in supporting the need for action to recover the oceanic stock.
"Scientific assessments by department researchers confirmed low levels of pink snapper spawning stocks and the need for action to address fishing practices that target the main spawning aggregations.
"We know that similar closures have been effective in protecting pink snapper spawning aggregations in Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds off Perth's southern suburbs, and the inner gulfs of Shark Bay.
"It's important we take note what the science is telling us and act to ensure the sustainability of our fisheries."
Minister's office - 6552 6100