THE second last fishing opportunity for the 2016-17 west coast zone abalone season is tomorrow Sunday, February 5 between 7am and 8am.
Yanchep Lagoon and The Spot are part of the west coast zone, which extends north to the mouth of the Greenough River, but fishers are reminded the coastal region north from Moore River to the WA and NT border remains closed permanently to abalone fishing, until further notice.
Recreational fishers, with valid abalone fishing licences, are urged to follow the rules and carefully consider sea conditions, when they head out to fish on Sunday morning.
Department of Fisheries director for strategic fisheries policy Nathan Harrison said fishers should consider their personal safety at all times and to not take risks.
“Being safe not only involves keeping an eye on the weather and the ocean, but making sure you are wearing appropriate clothing for abalone fishing,” he said.
“Fishers need to wear protective footwear and a wetsuit or light clothing that will not become too heavy when wet.
“We also ask abalone fishers to carry their catch in a loose-weave net bag, which will allow water to pass through and therefore prevent it becoming a dragging weight.
“Measuring gauges should be attached to a wrist and should not be hung around a fisher’s neck.”
North metropolitan compliance manager Todd A’Vard said fisheries and marine officers would be out and about on Sunday, ensuring abalone fishers abided by the 7am to 8am fishing window.
“We will also be focusing on bag and size limits and making sure that fishers stop taking abalone when they reach their bag limit,” he said.
“Fishers should only take abalone that they are going to keep, because abalone taken from the reef will most likely die if they are returned to the water.
“In addition, those with an abalone licence can only collect abalone for themselves and not for other people, even if they are part of a group.”
Safety tips for fishing in WA are available on the Fish and Survive website.
More information on rules and limits is available in the Recreational fishing for abalone guide 2016-17 from the Department of Fisheries’ website at www.fish.wa.gov.au or information outlets.
Anyone with information about illegal fishing activities is urged not to get involved, but to carefully observe what they see and give FishWatch a call on 1800 815 507 or alert a Department of Fisheries officer, if there is an officer on patrol at the beach.