Ban placed on fishing for southern garfish off Perth waters

A ban is in place on the catching of southern garfish (top), but fishers can still catch robust garfish (bottom).
A ban is in place on the catching of southern garfish (top), but fishers can still catch robust garfish (bottom).

A BAN has been placed on fishing for southern garfish to help its population recover along the Perth coast.

“(Fisheries) believes the southern garfish stock issues are being driven by a combination of environmental and fishing pressures,” Department of Fisheries South West bioregions manager Tim Nicholas said.

An assessment of southern garfish in Cockburn Sound and other Perth waters showed fishing for the species should be closed to protect breeding stock and allow the fish to repopulate.

“While we can’t control the environment, we can adapt our fishing to reduce fishing pressure on the stock and allow the stock to recover and closures are effective in achieving this,” Mr Nicholas said.

He said recreational fishing lobby Recfishwest, the WA Fishing Industry Council and commercial fishermen had been consulted about the ban.

It will come into effect between Lancelin and Myalup, where fishers must release any southern garfish they catch.

However, the robust garfish, also known as three-by-two and storm garfish, can still be taken.

Robust garfish have a dark blotch below the dorsal fin and a longer, lower tailfin lobe than southern garfish.

More information is at www.fish.wa.gov.au.

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