Next abalone fishing date pushed back a week after opening day death of fisher

Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club patrols Yanchep Lagoon during the first abalone fishing period of 2016-17. Picture: Lucy Jarvis
Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club patrols Yanchep Lagoon during the first abalone fishing period of 2016-17. Picture: Lucy Jarvis

THE next West Coast Zone fishing date for abalone has been pushed back following the death of a fisher last month.

Department of Fisheries director for strategic fisheries policy Nathan Harrison said the step had been taken to shift the day, after concerns for fisher safety directly following New Year’s Eve.

“In light of the fact that one man died on the first day of the 2016-17 abalone season and that fisher safety could be compromised on New Year’s Day, an order has been made to prohibit fishing for abalone on Sunday January 1,” he said.

“Instead, by exemption, abalone fishing will now be permitted between 7am and 8am only on Sunday January 8.

“We don’t want a situation where people who have been celebrating the New Year too hard then try their hand at abalone fishing first thing in the morning; this could potentially put fishers and Surf Life Saving volunteers at risk.”

Mr Harrison said Fisheries and Marine officers would be patrolling abalone fishing spots on New Year’s Day to ensure fishers abided by the closure.

“Fishers will have to wait until 7am on Sunday 8 January, before they can fish for abalone again,” he said.

Licences are required for all abalone fishing and can be purchased from the department’s website.

Mr Harrison urged abalone fishers to consider their personal safety at all times and not to take risks.

“If you are unsure at any time whether ocean conditions are too rough, don’t go in,” he said.

For more information visit www.fish.wa.gov.au or to report illegal fishing activity phone 1800 815 507.