The McGowan Government will invest almost $3 million in fishing licence fees to create better recreational fishing experiences throughout the State, supporting regional tourism and Western Australian jobs.
Western Australia’s most unique recreational fishery – the marron fishery based in the State’s south-west – is one fishery that will get a massive boost through the latest round of the Recreational Fishing Initiative Fund (RFIF).
Premier Mark McGowan and Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly today announced $500,000 for the stocking of 300,000 marron and habitat enhancement projects. The announcement came as the Premier and Minister stocked juvenile marron, grown at the State Government’s Pemberton hatchery, into Harvey Dam today (December 8).
Marron are the largest freshwater crayfish in Western Australia – and the third largest in the world. They are endemic to south-west WA and fishing for them has long been a WA tradition. The new stocking program is one way the McGowan Government is managing climate change impacts on the long-term viability of marron stocks.
More than 10,800 licensed marron fishers take part in the month-long fishing season, which will get underway at 12pm on Wednesday January 8, 2020 until 12pm Wednesday February 5, 2020.
The marron stocking program is part of an almost $3 million package of Recreational Fishing Initiative Fund projects that will roll out over the next three years, funded by recreational fishing licence fees, to improve recfishing in Western Australia.
Other projects to be funded through the latest RFIF round include an artificial reef for Carnarvon, more freshwater fish stocking, and further fish habitat enhancement projects in the south-west and metropolitan areas.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“Recreational fishing is a treasured pastime in our State, and my Government is working hard to ensure fishing only gets better for Western Australians into the future.
“Fishing is not only a great way to get outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine, but also an important contributor to our economy.
“Each year it is estimated 700,000 recreational fishers in Western Australia spend an estimated $2.4 billion a year.
“With our latest investment of almost $3 million in stocking programs, habitat enhancement projects and an artificial reef for Carnarvon we hope to see recfishing tourism grow. This will support jobs and the economy, particularly in regional areas.”
As stated by Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:
“Last financial year, the McGowan Government invested more than $17 million to ensure recfishing in WA remains some of the best on offer in the world.
“These latest projects don’t just deliver on our commitment for sustainable fishing, but will ensure Western Australians can continue to have enjoyable, unique fishing experiences across the State.
“With freshwater fish stocking, new artificial reefs in development for the metropolitan area and Carnarvon, as well as habitat enhancement projects across the State, recfishing in WA is looking better than ever.”
As stated by Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke:
“We’re incredibly lucky here in the south-west, with WA’s unique marron only found in freshwater between Waroona and Albany.
“Each year during the one-month marron season you’ll find WA’s south-west teeming with marron fishers who are injecting money into our local economy and supporting local jobs.
“Our region is well known for its fantastic produce, shellfish, wine and natural landscapes among other things. We want to show this off to the world.”