Catch! - Recreational fishing news from Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia
Issue No.40, November 2018

Gear up for safe abalone fishing this summer

A collection of abalone fishing gear that help keep fishers safe when fishing including a snorkel, wet suit, gloves and reef boots.

Make sure you have appropriate safety gear ahead of the upcoming West Coast Zone recreational fishing season.

While, Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) volunteers do a tremendous job, five people have drowned abalone fishing in recent years. Fishers must take responsibility for their own safety and not fish in unsafe weather conditions 

We urge you to prepare now ahead of the season start in December and ensure you have appropriate and functioning safety gear including a snorkel, diving mask, long sleeve wetsuit, gloves, reef shoes and a mesh bag that will not become a drag-hazard.

Tips on abalone fishing safety, including information on the appropriate gear to wear are available on the SLSWA website. More.

Rig ’em right

A rock lobster pot with a float and rope with a tag on the rope showing how the pot should be rigged.

As recreational rock lobster fishing begins to gear up ahead of the 'whites run’ we remind you to get up to speed with the new  pot rope and float rigging rules.

Under rules introduced on 1 July this year, you can only attach a maximum of two floats to your pot.

In addition, the top half of the pot line must be hung vertically in the water when more than 20 metres of rope is used (including the float rig) – check out this Recfishwest video for rigging tips. More

Have your say on South West blueys

A blue swimmer crab on a sandy sea floor

We want to hear your views on a range of management options to increase breeding stock protection of South West blue swimmer crabs to ensure they remain sustainable.

We’ve released a discussion paper to gauge your feedback and views on the various management options being presented.

The management needs to ensure the resource is sustainable and takes into account environmental variations and other impacts on blue swimmer crabs. These crabs are fished for in a range of recreational and commercial fisheries in the South West, from the Swan River to Geographe Bay. More.

Annual Sounds pinkies closure value

A pink snapper spawning gyre in Cockburn Sound

The four-month annual closure of Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds to pink snapper fishing, during the popular species’ annual spawning aggregations, began on 1 October

Recent research shows it could take up to 20 years to recover pink snapper and other West Coast demersal scalefish stocks from overfishing. The capture and release of some species, prior to spawning, can also reduce or stop their spawning –  so it’s important to support the recovery by sticking to the closure.

Our Fisheries Officers will be on patrol in Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds until 31 January to ensure fishers are adhering to the closure. More.

How old are 350,000 fish?

A fisher holding the oldest caught snapper in Western Australia

By examining the otoliths (ear bones), our research team recently aged their 350,000th fish – critical in assessing the health of our fish stocks.

The information extracted from hundreds and thousands of fish can reveal a wide range of information including the age structure of wild fish populations, as well as a species’ longevity, age at sexual maturity, growth rate and variation in the level of young recruits joining a population from year to year.

Australia’s oldest recorded snapper - the skeleton of which was donated by a recreational fisher - was caught in WA, a 41-year-old male specimen off Bunbury in 2007 (pictured). More.

Abalone fishing gear photo courtesy of SLSWA