Sensible fishing rules.

There’s finally some sense into the fishing rules. Now they’ve introduced bag limits rather than strictly size limits. It takes into consideration that fish may not always be in optimal shape to be released after being hooked. Now I hope this sensible approach can also be used more widely to include other species such as abalone (since most are gauged off rocks [and significantly injured] before they’re measured).

Medianet Release

11 Nov 2016 1:43 PM AEST – Simplifying size limit rules for WA fishers

To continue its efforts to reduce red tape and simplify the State’s fishing rules, the Department of Fisheries has undertaken a major review of all finfish size limits across Western Australia.

Policy and Strategic Services Director Nathan Harrison said the review was science-based with the aim of ensuring size limits contribute in a meaningful way to the sustainable management of individual species.

“For example, where there are high rates of post-release mortality due to barotrauma, it is proposed that the minimum size limits be abolished for a range of species, such as baldchin groper and breaksea cod,” Mr Harrison said. “Reducing mortality rates offers sustainability benefits.

“In addition, where fish are often not retained or targeted as sports fish, the proposal is that minimum size limits are removed for various species, like Australian salmon and Samson fish.

Mr Harrison said size limits for finfish would remain, where they were necessary to ensure ongoing sustainability for species that needed a range of management measures to help protect them from exploitation.

“Where possible size limits have been simplified and standardised for many commonly caught species,” he said. “This is a win–win outcome for both fishers and sustainable management.”

Mr Harrison said the Policy on the Application of fish size limits in WA, which was now available, was developed after requests from Recfishwest and WA’s Fishing Industry Council.

“The new policy will now provide a framework for applying size limits,” he said.

“This policy was used in the development of the second document being released today for public comment – A review of size limits for finfish in WA.”

Details of how to make a submission during the six-week consultation period, which will close on 23 December 2016, are available on thePublic comment page atwww.fish.wa.gov.au.

Given the public consultation period, related to the discussion paper, as well as required regulatory processes when decisions are finalised, formal arrangements to implement size limit changes are not expected to be in place before early to mid-2017.

More information on the current recreational rules, including size limits, is available in the currentRecreational fishing guide 2016 or atwww.fish.wa.gov.au, or collect the guide from departmental offices, orInformation Outlets.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Ashley Malone 0418 901 767

Please see the following files attached:
[MR26-16 Size Limits POLICY and discussion paper 11Nov16.pdf]

Distributed by AAP Medianet

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