Snapper off the menu

LtoR: Tim Mitchell (Fisheries and Marine Officer), Mike Beanland (Perth Boat School), Liam PLant (Fisheries and Marine Officer)
LtoR: Tim Mitchell (Fisheries and Marine Officer), Mike Beanland (Perth Boat School), Liam PLant (Fisheries and Marine Officer)

Anyone caught with the fish faces a maximum $5000 fine and an additional penalty of $285 per fish if determined by number or $95 per kilogram if determined by weight.

Department of Fisheries (DoF) principal management officer Martin Holtz said the two sounds were vital nurseries for the species and attract the largest known aggregations of pink snapper in the west coast bioregion at this time of year.

‘It is illegal to fish for pink snapper, or be in possession of pink snapper while fishing by line, in the waters of Cockburn and Warnbro sounds during the closed season,’ Mr Holtz said.

‘The aggregations are critical for sustaining adequate breeding stocks for pink snapper, which is a long-lived and a slow-growing fish species.’

The ban will be closely monitored by DoF officers.

Shark Response Unit spokesman Tony Cappellutti said fishermen should also be vigilant of sharks and report any sightings.

‘While (the ban) means recreational fishers cannot take pink snapper, people do fish for other species in Cockburn and Warnbro sounds throughout the spawning period and we ask them to do it safely,’ he said.

‘Night fishing is popular and so is recreational fishing from kayaks and water users need to always consider their personal safety.

‘Fishers and water users should look out for each other and report shark sightings.’