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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Thursday 7 November 2019

Sport fishing bonanza more than a passing FAD

  • Network of Fishing Aggregating Devices (FAD) to be anchored off Perth, Albany, Bunbury and Cape Naturaliste
  • More planned for Geraldton, Exmouth and Broome early next year
  • Enhanced sport fishing and regional tourism opportunities to support regional economies
  • Election commitment delivered

Recreational boat fishers in Perth and regional Western Australia can expect a sports fishing bonanza for iconic pelagic species such as mahi-mahi and marlin with the deployment of a series of offshore Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD).

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly today announced purpose-built floats will be anchored to the seabed at locations off Perth, Albany, Bunbury and Cape Naturaliste over the next few weeks, and off Geraldton, Exmouth and Broome early next year.

The McGowan Government will invest $439,000 of recfishing licence fees through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund for the installation, maintenance and monitoring of the 26 devices over the next three years.

The FAD acts as a floating fish beacon in open ocean to attract schools of baitfish, which brings in large numbers of fast-growing migratory pelagic species such as mahi-mahi, marlin, tuna and wahoo.

Concentrated aggregations of these species make for spectacular fishing for boat fishers and have been used successfully throughout Australia. Off the metropolitan coast, the Perth Game Fishing Club deploys FADs in November each year and then retrieves them the following May. This latest deployment will bring the total number of FADs off Perth to 12.

The 20 new regional FAD installations are expected to attract visiting fishers and bring a welcome economic boost to regional towns and centres, with recfishers spending $1.8 billion a year on fishing trips.

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Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:

"The deployment of these latest FADs is exciting news for our recreational fishers with medium-sized trailer boats and bigger, providing them with the opportunity to catch fantastic sportfish like mahi-mahi.

"It's another way the McGowan Government is delivering on its election commitment to ensure that recfishers' licence fees are being invested in creating more world-class fishing opportunities for locals and tourists.  

"This new network of Fishing Aggregating Devices will also be a bonus for the economy, tourism and jobs in regional centres like Albany and Exmouth by attracting sport fishing tourists locally, nationally and internationally."

Minister's office - 6552 6100

Last modified: 8/11/2019 10:57 AM

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