Fisheries urges people to check abalone sizes

Stock pic.
Stock pic.

FISHERIES officers are reminding people to measure their abalone before removing them from reefs ahead of the last fishing session of the season this weekend.

Surf Life Saving WA’s surf prediction modelling for February 15 suggests risk factors are low to medium so it has recommended the one-hour recreational fishing session go ahead.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development senior management officer Rhiannon Jones said it was important for sustainability that fishers complied with the abalone bag and size limits.

“Compliance officers will be on the job at abalone fishing locations in the West Coast Zone, between the Busselton Jetty and Moore River, to check fishing rules are followed this Saturday,” she said.

Although there was a low risk in the predicted sea and weather conditions, Ms Jones said licensed abalone fishers still needed to keep safety in mind.

“We urge fishers planning to take part in this Saturday’s fishing hour to make sure of their own safety and competence in the sea and weather conditions they encounter and recognise their water skills, clothing and gear need to be suitable for abalone fishing,” she said.

“We’ve been lucky that all fishing sessions have gone ahead as planned this season and there has been no need for any cancellations based on predicted conditions.

“The flexibility of having the fishing hours on Saturdays in the warmer months of the year puts the safety of recreational fishers and SLSWA volunteers first.”

Ms Jones thanked surf lifesavers as well as volunteers who helped researchers keep track of and count catches to help determine the approximate take for each session.

Visit www.fish.wa.gov.au and www.mybeach.com.au for more information.