In response to concerns about fishing pressures on pink snapper spawning aggregations, Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has today announced he will accept Recfishwest’s proposal to expand protections for the species in the Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds.
Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds support the largest known aggregations of spawning pink snapper in the West Coast Bioregion, and are critical to sustaining an adequate breeding stock of this long-lived species across the bioregion.
The latest science shows that pink snapper begin to migrate into the Sounds well before commencement of the traditional annual spawning closure on October 1. These fish are a target species for recreational and commercial fishers, which is putting pressure on the species outside the traditional spawning closure.
Following feedback from Recfishwest and the commercial fishing industry, the season will now close each year from September 1 and until January 31, and the closure area will also be expanded to protect migration pathways pink snapper use on their way into the Sounds.
More details on the changes are available on the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s website. The latest science on Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds pink snapper is available at http://www.fish.wa.gov.au
As stated by Fisheries and Science Minister Dave Kelly:
“Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds support the largest known aggregations of spawning pink snapper in the West Coast Bioregion and are critical for sustaining an adequate breeding stock.
“Research shows that pink snapper begin to gather in Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds in the months leading up to the commencement of the traditional annual spawning closure on October 1.
“Increased fishing pressure in the lead-up to the traditional spawning closure means there is a clear need to take action and provide additional protection for spawning pink snapper by bringing forward the start and expanding the area of the closure.
“I thank Recfishwest for their leadership on this issue by calling for the extended and expanded spawning protections.”