The McGowan Government will spend close to $11.5 million on a new fisheries vessel to patrol the State’s northern waters.
The offshore vessel will replace the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s ageing Patrol Vessel Walcott based in Broome.
A fit-for-purpose fleet of research and patrol vessels is essential to the sustainability of Western Australia’s fisheries and our fishing sectors, and also supports Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) sustainability certification.
The new modern patrol vessel will meet the National Standard for Commercial Vessels which includes a more efficient hull design, longer voyage capabilities, low engine emissions, appropriate crew accommodation and improved compliance and research capacity.
The current department fleet includes four large vessels (over 20 metres) utilised across a range of core government roles including marine park management, shark incident response, marine safety, sea search and rescue, whale disentanglement, and illegal foreign fishing patrols.
The procurement and build of the large offshore vessel is projected to take two years, with the new vessel expected to be available by the end of 2023-24
As stated by Fisheries Minister Don Punch:
“With more than 12,000 kilometres of WA coastline to cover, it is important that the McGowan Government continues to invest in maintaining and upgrading the State’s patrol fleet vessels.
“Our vessels must be capable of operating over the vast distances of the WA fishing zones, in challenging conditions and carry the extensive equipment required to fulfil their vast duties.
“Having fit-for-purpose vessels is essential for undertaking research, stock assessment and monitoring, and the compliance work which underpins the sustainability of the State’s valuable fisheries, as well as supporting continued MSC accreditation and the Federal Government’s efforts to stop the incursion of illegal foreign fishing vessels into our waters.”