Fishers show support for upholding size limits

It is great to see these strong community values around fish stewardship and we can rest assured that fish in WA are in good hands."

Recfishwest CEO Andrew Rowland

Community feedback has shown a state government proposal to abolish the size limits for many recreationally and commercially popular species of fish would be seen as irresponsible, and wind back work done in the recreational fishing industry, according to Recfishwest.

The state's peak recreational fishing body conducted a public survey on the controversial proposal in the Department of Fisheries’ Management Paper 280.

Recfishwest spokesman Issac Tancred said the response was overwhelming.

“It’s taken years to put these rules in place, so we think it’s irresponsible to abolish them without more research,” he said.

The Department of Fisheries proposed the changes on the evidence the survival of certain fish species was very low after being released, leading to fish being wasted and biomass issues in marine areas.

The report was published in November 2016, and had been a matter of debate between the Department and the recreational and commercial fishing industries since.

Recfishwest CEO Andrew Rowland said Recfishwest supports the size limit removal in these cases, but “for the remainder of species where the evidence is vague or uncomprehensive a size limit is highly recommended to be kept”.

“It is great to see these strong community values around fish stewardship and we can rest assured that fish in WA are in good hands,” Recfishwest’s CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said.

​”Size limits have long been established as a valuable tool in ensuring a sense of respect and stewardship of the seafood resource

“Size limits promote a community sentiment and what is socially acceptable around sustainable and responsible fishing and their removal would lead to degrading these values.”

Recfishwest’s full response to the Department of Fisheries can be seen at the Recfishwest website.