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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Thursday 25 July 2019

WA's world-class fisheries management improves sustainability of fisheries

    • ​Latest scientific research shows sustainability of WA fisheries has increased
    • 97 per cent of the State’s fisheries are not at risk from the effects of fishing activity, up from 95 per cent
    • Fisheries scientists are highly-regarded internationally for innovative research

Western Australian fisheries that support jobs in our State’s commercial fishing industry and its many world-class recreational and indigenous fishing experiences along more than 12,500 kilometres of coastline, have enjoyed another successful year.

The latest stock assessment reports show the sustainability of WA fisheries has increased, with 97 per cent of fisheries not at risk from the effects of fishing activity - up from 95 per cent in the 2016-17 report.

WA’s fisheries are in a healthy condition, except a small percentage of stocks affected by adverse environmental conditions that are now subject to recovery programs.

Recovery of Abrolhos and Denham Sound scallop stocks, Exmouth Gulf brown tiger prawns and Shark Bay blue swimmer crab stocks after the 2011 extreme marine heatwave have helped lift the latest status report to 97 per cent.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) scientists and managers are highly regarded internationally for the development and application of ecosystem-based fisheries management which includes a big picture analysis of all environmental influences, as well as stock status.

For further detail, the Status reports of the fisheries and aquatic resources of Western Australia 2017/18 are now available on the DPIRD Fisheries website at

Comments attributed to Fisheries and Science Minister Dave Kelly:

“In WA we take our sustainable fisheries credentials very seriously and because of this we are a world-leader.

“I am very pleased the stocks in WA commercial and recreational fisheries are in a healthy position and 97 per cent of them are not at risk from fishing activities.

“Last year the status reports showed 95 per cent were not at risk and the increase recorded this year is mostly due to some stocks impacted by the 2011 marine heatwave now reaching recovery, such as Abrolhos Islands scallops and Shark Bay scallops and crabs.

“It’s important that when the science shows us a stock has been impacted by environmental conditions that we take steps to help it recover through adaptive fisheries management.”

Minister's office 6552 6100

Last modified: 25/07/2019 9:31 AM

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