13 December 2013
Today’s newsletter is the last for this year. The first edition of Fish eNews for 2014 will be out on Friday 8 February. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
An extensive assessment of three of Western Australia’s key demersal scalefish species has demonstrated that recovery of these stocks has begun, confirming that current Department of Fisheries’ management arrangements are working.
The stock assessment of the key indicator species (West Australian dhufish, pink snapper and baldchin groper) focussed on the West Coast Bioregion, where a suite of recreational and commercial fishing management measures were introduced between 2008 and 2010.
Those management measures were designed to reduce both sectors catches by at least 50 per cent on 2005/06 levels, to reduce pressure on stocks and allow them to rebuild. Action was required following a 2007 stock assessment, which had identified there was overfishing of demersal species in the West Coast Bioregion.
Strategic Fisheries Policy Manager Nathan Harrison said the latest assessment allowed the department to gauge how appropriate the current management settings had been in facilitating the recovery of these important demersal species.
“These are long-lived species and their recovery will therefore be slow, taking up to 15 to 20 years,” Mr Harrison said. “The good news is there are signs that recovery is under way for WA dhufish and pink snapper, but it is early days and we still have a long way to go.” More… | Photo: WA Dept of Fisheries [WA’s own baldchin groper]