Shark Bay, more than 800 kilometres north of Perth, is renowned for its recreational fishing, especially for pink snapper.
Pink snapper in Shark Bay’s three inner gulfs don’t interbreed with each other or the wider-ranging oceanic population. The inner gulf pink snapper stocks are small compared with the oceanic stock and stocks elsewhere in Australia and in New Zealand. Being small and reproductively isolated makes these inner gulf stocks particularly vulnerable to overfishing.
For this reason, special fishing rules apply.
The following rules apply when fishing for pink snapper in the inner gulfs of Shark Bay.
Daily bag limit
2 per fisher, per day
Minimum size 500 mm. The 700 mm maximum size limit has been removed from January 2016.
The bag and size limits above also apply when the pink snapper have been caught in oceanic waters and landed anywhere in the inner gulfs of Shark Bay.
Freycinet Estuary Management Zone
The tag lottery has been removed for pink snapper in Freycinet Estuary and replaced with the Freycinet Estuary Management Zone.
In the Management Zone, any person will only be able to have in their possession a maximum of 5 kg of fillets of fish or one day’s bag limit of whole fish or fish trunks. This applies to all fish, not just pink snapper.
Click on the map above for a printable version.
Denham Sound: No seasonal fishing closures.
Eastern Gulf: Closed 1 May – 31 July (inclusive).
Freycinet Estuary: Closed 15 August – 30 September (inclusive).
Pink snapper tag lottery
Due to management changes the Freycinet Estuary tag lottery has been replaced with new recreational fishing rules in 2016.
Landing filleted or processed fish
There is no longer a requirement to land pink snapper in whole form in the inner gulfs, but Statewide filleting rules apply (see below for details).
Fish with a minimum size limit can be carried at sea and landed:
as fillets, skin and scale on, a minimum 30 cm length;
trunked, skin and scale on a minimum 30 cm length; or
whole (can be gutted and gilled)
Fish without a size limit can be carried at sea and landed:
These rules also apply if you are returning from an island.
The inner gulfs of Shark Bay
These frequently asked questions provide more information on the Shark Bay pink snapper rule changes.