New fishing arrangements for commercial beach seine fishing

July 12, 2010 12:27

Fisheries Minister Norman Moore has moved to resolve a long-standing conflict between recreational and commercial fishers in the State's South-West, reports with reference to Government of Western Australia.

The Minister has put in place new management arrangements for commercial beach seine fishing for fish species other than salmon. 

It follows management arrangements for commercial salmon fishing in the South-West that were introduced in July 2009, when a closure was introduced for Geographe Bay.

Mr Moore said from next Tuesday commercial beach seine fishing would be prohibited between Port Geographe (at Busselton) and Black Point (east of Augusta).

Some commercial beach seine fishers would be allowed to continue to fish between Port Geographe and Tim's Thicket (south of Mandurah).

"It is important to address resource-sharing issues between commercial and recreational fishers," the Minister said. 

"In this case, I have taken into account the unique values of the Geographe Bay and Capes region as important recreational areas.

"However, in removing access to these traditional fishing areas for commercial licence-holders, who have mainly targeted baitfish, we need to ensure the fishers are appropriately compensated.

"The 11 commercial beach seine operators affected by the new management arrangements will be offered compensation."

Mr Moore said he had decided to allow continued access to Flinders Bay near Augusta for one commercial fisher, who uses a haul net there on an infrequent basis to target whiting and mullet as part of his estuarine fishing operation in Hardy Inlet.

"There is minimal user conflict in this area and a strong demand for fresh fish in the local retail market, so it is reasonable to allow this sole operator to continue beach seine fishing in Flinders Bay for the time being," he said.

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