Recovery of Perth’s coastal abalone stocks great news for local fishers

  • Scientists confirm Roe’s abalone stocks have returned to pre-marine heatwave levels
  • A successful, sector-supported, management strategy underpinned recovery
  • This is the first successful recovery of an abalone stock in Australia 
  • Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley has revealed that recreational abalone fishers in the West Coast Zone will benefit from an extra Saturday fishing hour in the coming 2020-21 season to fish for the much-prized Roe’s abalone this summer.

    There will now be five fishing hours, between 7am and 8am, across designated Saturdays on December 12, January 9, January 23, February 6 and February 20.

    Having an extra Saturday for a fifth recreational fishing hour is a result of lifting the recreational catch range from 18-22 tonnes last season, to 28-32 tonnes for the coming season. 

    The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will undertake in-season monitoring on the recreational catch range, to ensure the fishery’s sustainability into the future. This may lead to in-season changes to the recreational fishing hours.

    Adaptive fisheries management, under-pinned by good science and active compliance are the keys for keeping this iconic fishery viable on the doorstep of a major capital city like Perth.

    The new recreational abalone fishing guide is available online at: https://www.fish.wa.gov.au/Documents/recreational_fishing/licences/rec_licence_abalone.pdf

    Commercial fishers will have a maximum abalone catch of 32.8 tonnes, up from 26.5 tonnes.

    As stated by Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley:

    “The benefits that both recreational and commercial fishers will have over summer come from increases to allowable catches, which are an outcome of the science-driven management adjustments introduced to assist the post-marine heatwave stock recovery.

    “Those agreed management strategies, combined with a marine cold spell from 2016 to 2019 have accelerated West Coast Zone recovery between Moore River and the Busselton Jetty.

    “I would like to thank the department’s abalone scientists and managers for working closely with both the recreational and commercial sectors. Both sectors supported the post marine heatwave strategy and it’s certainly paying off.

    “I also urge the recreational fishers getting out on coastal reefs this summer to fish safely.”

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