THE State Government has urged people to stay safe ahead of the first day of abalone season this Saturday.
More than 15,500 people have already taken out licences to access Western Australia’s unique West Coast Zone abalone fishery in the lead up to the first fishing day this Saturday.
The season now runs over the summer months to reduce the risk of rough weather conditions.
Fishing days will be on four specified Saturdays to ensure Surf Life Saving WA have the resources to help make the one-hour fishing window safer.
Fishing will be open between 7am and 8am on the following Saturdays:
- December 9, 2017;
- January 13, 2018;
- February 3, 2018; and
- February 17, 2018
“It is not worth risking a life for an abalone which is why we have introduced new measures to help improve fisher safety,” Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly said.
“Surf Life Saving WA, Recfishwest and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development have worked collaboratively on these changes to find the balance between fisher safety, fisher amenity and the sustainability of the fishery.
“Importantly from now on if poor weather conditions are forecast, we will close the fishery – we won’t put fishers or Surf Life Saving WA volunteers’ lives at risk.
“The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will act on Surf Life Saving WA advice to close and reschedule season fishing days.
“I urge abalone fishers to think safety at all times as they seek this seafood delicacy – remembering that it’s not worth risking your life for any fish.”