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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Wednesday 10 March 2021

Fishers urged to be cautious for final session of the West Coast Zone abalone season

Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) prediction modelling for Saturday 13 March sets the overall safety risk at medium and their recommendation is for recreational abalone fishing between 7am and 8am to proceed with caution.

SLSWA uses the best available information on ocean and weather conditions from multiple information sources and rates factors such as wind speed, swell, tide and swell period to help assess safety risks. 

This weekend’s final session of the West Coast Zone (WCZ) recreational abalone season not only replaces one of the designated fishing hours that was cancelled earlier this year, but is also the fifth session for the 2020/21 season made possible by the improved abalone stocks along the Perth coast.  

Following the 2010/11 marine heatwave off WA’s coast, the comprehensive research and management program that supports this fishery has enabled the stock to recover and fishers can continue to enjoy fishing for this delicacy on the doorstep of our capital city. 

Fishers can also play their part in the ongoing sustainability of the abalone resource by following rules and measuring abalone before removing any of them from coastal reefs this Saturday morning.

The future of this fishery is literally in the hands of recreational fishers and it is vital all fishers treat it with a sense of personal responsibility and stewardship.

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

“Fishers planning to take part in this Saturday’s fishing session need to be 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.

“SLSWA is predicting a moderate rising tide and moderate primary swell, along with moderate winds tending offshore and, if they’re on the reef tops, fishers need to watch out for holes and drop-off, which can be hazardous to participants with low swimming skills.”

Ms Jones also thanked compliance and research staff involved in the 2020/21 season, as well as volunteers who have helped DPIRD researchers keep track of and count catches through this season to help determine the approximate take for each session. 

More on abalone fishing rules is available at SLSWA has abalone fishing safety tips at:

Last modified: 10/03/2021 12:49 PM

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