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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

​   Know the rules when you fish

Wednesday 12 February 2020

Low to medium risk for last session of the West Coast Zone abalone fishing season

​Fishers are urged to measure their abalone before removing any of them from coastal reefs in the West Coast Zone this Saturday morning for the last hour of the 2019/20 fishing season.

Sustainability of this popular fishery depends on the survival of undersize abalone and the Abalone Recreational fishing guide 2019/20 says “to increase their survival rate, measure each abalone before you take it off the reef.”

If all participants follow this practice, the enjoyment of abalone fishing will continue for future years and be there for future generations. 

The Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) surf prediction modelling for Saturday 15 February sets the risk factors in the low to medium range and their recommendation is to proceed with this Saturday’s 7am to 8am fishing session.

SLSWA uses the best available information on sea and weather conditions from multiple information sources and rates the risks for factors such as wind speed, swell, tide and swell period to help build the modelling they use to assess the risk range. 

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) Senior Management Officer Rhiannon Jones said licensed abalone fishers still needed to keep safety in mind.

“We urge fishers planning to take part in this Saturday’s fishing hour to make sure of their own safety and competence in the sea and weather conditions they encounter and recognise their water skills, clothing and gear need to be suitable for abalone fishing,” Ms Jones said.

“We’ve been lucky that all fishing sessions have gone ahead as planned this season and there has been no need for any cancellations based on predicted conditions.

“The flexibility of having the fishing hours on Saturdays in the warmer months of the year puts the safety of recreational fishers and SLSWA volunteers first. We should all offer our appreciation to SLSWA and their clubs for their assistance in the 2019/20 season in making life savers and equipment available to monitor fisher safety.”

Ms Jones also thanked volunteers who help DPIRD researchers keep track of and count catches to help determine the approximate take for each session. 

“It’s also very important that fishers comply with the abalone bag and size limits. Compliance officers will be on the job at abalone fishing locations in the West Coast Zone, between the Busselton Jetty and Moore River, to check fishing rules are followed this Saturday,” she said.

More on abalone fishing rules is available at www.fish.wa.gov.au. SLSWA has abalone fishing safety tips at: https://www.mybeach.com.au/safety-rescue-services/coastal-recreation/abalone/

Last modified: 12/02/2020 2:02 PM

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