Gascoyne Snapper temporary ban
The Western Australian state government is prohibiting commercial, charter and recreational fishers from catching pink snapper from 1 June to 31 August to protect stocks.
Measures have been put in place to ensure key spawning aggregations are safe in the waters surrounding the Northern end of Bernier Island, including Koks Island, in Western Australia. The Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) is urging fishers to think twice before fishing for pink snapper in the Gascoyne region throughout the peak of the annual spawning period.
Guy Leyland, acting CEO of WAFIC, said that while other fish could be targeted and retained, if pink snapper were accidently caught, there is a high chance that they will perish from hook injuries, barotrauma or shark depredation. “For the spatial closure to be successful in protecting snapper spawning aggregations – all fishing needs to cease,” Mr Leyland said.
The spatial closure is part of a management package that the commercial industry has proactively promoted. In addition, commercial fishers have requested a significant reduction in quota from 277t to 50t. This comes off the back of multiple previous reductions.
Mr Leyland stated: “WAFIC would like to emphasise that licence holders are firm in their resolve to protect and recover this fishery despite knowing that over the next two years this measure will result in immediate financial impact and hardship on all fishing operators. It will also restrict the supply of fresh snapper to the local market.
“Most operators have already implemented a voluntary catch reduction.”
WAFIC said total mortality caused by recreational fishing through demersal fish being lost to barotrauma, high-grading and sharks now needs to be addressed.
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