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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Saturday 3 September 2016

Dining out on relaxed seafood catch rules

  • ​Slashing red tape for fishing charter boats and the hospitality industry
  • Giving tourists an enhanced experience of WA's sought-after seafood

Western Australia's tourism sector is set to benefit from moves to slash red tape for fishing charter boat operators and the hospitality industry.

Announcing the changes in Geraldton today, Premier and Tourism Minister Colin Barnett said the Liberal National Government wanted to provide tourists with the best experience of Western Australian seafood, including the prized western rock lobster.

"We want local fishing charter operators to be able to offer the best lobster-based tour experiences, such as in the spectacular setting of the Abrolhos Islands," Mr Barnett said. 

"The changes will mean holiday makers won't have to hold a recreational rock lobster licence to catch lobster while they are on a fishing charter and will be able to cook and eat their catch on the way back to shore."

Under the new arrangements, the State Government would:

  • remove the need for people on fishing charter boats to hold a recreational rock lobster licence in order to fish for lobster
  • allow fishing charter operators to pull a small number of lobster pots so they can provide lobster to their guests
  • enable accredited accommodation facilities to provide fish storage services for their guests
  • enable recreational fishers and fishing charter participants to have their fish cooked for them at accredited restaurants.  

Fisheries Minister Joe Francis said the changes would also mean catching rock lobster from fishing charter boats would be permitted all year round.

"The new arrangements will enable charter tour operators to really impress their guests and show off WA's wonderful seafood while they enjoy prime attractions along the State's coast," Mr Francis said.

"We have responded to tourism operators who felt their efforts to promote seafood and, in particular, our world-renowned rock lobster, could be significantly enhanced as a win-win for both tourists and the fishing charter industry."    

Fact File

  • The new arrangements will be in place by the end of 2016
  • Accreditation of tourism businesses is undertaken by the Tourism Council of WA

Premier and Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5000
Fisheries Minister's office - 6552 6500

Last modified: 3/09/2016 1:28 PM

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