Perfect day for abalone at Yanchep Lagoon

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Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club members on duty while abalone fishers are in operation at Yanchep Lagoon. Picture: Anita McInnes

ABALONE fishers were busy searching for the popular delicacy at Yanchep Lagoon this morning in what was the second of a total four fishing days allowed in the west coast zone this season.

During the 7am to 8am time slot when fishers were allowed to collect abalone Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club members were on patrol.

At the same time a rescue boat from the Two Rocks Volunteer Marine Rescue Group, which operates from Alkimos Reef to Moore River, was on standby.

The next abalone fishing day is scheduled for Saturday, February 3 to be followed by the final day on Saturday, February 17.

The daily bag limit for Roe’s abalone in the west coast zone is 15.

Abalone fishers were busy searching for the popular delicacy at Yanchep Lagoon. Picture: Anita Mcinnes
Abalone fishers busy searching for the popular delicacy at Yanchep Lagoon. Picture: Anita Mcinnes

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s recreational abalone fishing guide says Roe’s abalone inhabit reef platforms across the southern half of the state, north to about Steep Point.

“They take about four years to reach legal size, giving females at least one to two spawning seasons before they can be taken by fishers,’’ the guide said.

The guide said fishing for sea urchin was permitted only during the abalone open season.

The information also reminds fishers no abalone or sea urchin fishing is permitted north of Moore River until further notice.

“This is to allow abalone stocks to recover following high mortality during the 2011 marine heatwave off the coast.’’

The recreational catch allocation for the 2017-18 season was set at 20 tonnes.

“During the 2011 marine heatwave, sea surface temperatures rose to unprecedented levels – in some areas, more than 5°C above average. “This unusually warm water led to a number of abalone and fish kills. “The recreational catch is managed through size and bag limits, as well as closed areas and seasons.

“’The length of the open recreational fishing season for abalone may be adjusted each year to ensure the total metropolitan catch is consistent with this allocation and managed in a sustainable manner.’’ The guide said the commercial fishery, valued at about $8 million a year, was managed through quotas that were set each year to ensure the fishery’s long-term sustainability.

“As part of the integrated management approach to this fishery, the commercial fishery’s quota has been reduced in response to lower stock abundance resulting from the marine heatwave.’’