Study shows huge drop in herring stock

According to department marine biologist Kim Smith, a three-year intensive study into declining numbers of herring off the South West had shown the population had dropped dramatically since the early 1990s.

‘If you take all the adult herring that are off Perth at the moment, at the end of this year, 75 per cent of them will be dead,’ Dr Smith said.

‘Basically, the findings indicate that the herring stock was in an unacceptable state and there was a really high risk to the sustainability to the stock and that some strong management action would be required.’

There were several factors contributing to the decline in the fish, namely a rise in water temperature, changes to currents off WA as well as recreational and commercial fishing.

‘We know that there has been a real change in the environmental condition in the past decade,’ Dr Smith said.

‘Of course we’ve seen heatwaves events’