Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds (WA) are open to pink snapper fishing again today, following a four-month closure to protect stocks during the species’ spawning period.
Department of Fisheries’ South-West Bioregion Manager, Ian Curnow said the Sounds were the most important known spawning ground and nursery habitat for pink snapper on the West Coast and the annual closure was a very important sustainability measure for the breeding stock.
“Spawning is a highly vulnerable time, as the pink snapper gather in large schools, so protecting the fish at this time is crucial in ensuring fish for the future,” Mr Curnow said.
“Pink snapper is a slow-maturing species and individual fish can live to 30 years or more.
“Recent stock assessments of pink snapper on the West Coast show that the species is being overfished.
“The annual spawning closure from the beginning of October to the end of January is a key strategy to reduce the pressure on this species.”
Mr Curnow said that Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds would be open to fishing for pink snapper from now until the end of September.
“Recreational fishers are reminded there is a minimum size limit of 410mm for pink snapper, as well as a daily bag limit of four fish and that only one fish over 700mm in size can be included in their daily bag limit,” he said.
“It is also important to note that no filleting is allowed at sea or on the Sounds, as all pink snapper taken in the metropolitan area must be landed as whole fish.
“Fisheries and Marine Officers will be carrying out patrols on the Sounds, to make sure that anglers are complying with the fishing rules for pink snapper and all other fish species.
“This includes the current closure to crab fishing in Cockburn Sound to help breeding stocks recover.”
More details on the rules and information about fishing in the West Coast Region are available from the Department of Fisheries website at www.fish.wa.gov.au