IN OR ON THE WATER: Study to look at value of WA salmon

A new study funded through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund will reveal the economic value of a much-loved fish - WA salmon.

As one of four species in the perch family, in the eyes of the tens of thousands of keen fishers it attracts to WA's south and west coasts it is a true winner. Every year in autumn fishers tackle the challenge of catching this often aerobatic, fast-swimming fish. Some adult WA salmon can grow to one metre long.

This study will investigate how much is spent on fishing gear, bait, ice, fuel, accommodation and food by locals and visitors to WA's south and west coasts to chase Australian salmon.

The value this world-class sports fish can provide for local and visiting fishers through what they spend on this mainly catch-and-release experience is high, with potential for future growth.

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This study, which was requested by peak body Recfishwest, is another great example of recreational licence money working for WA's recreational fishers.

Fishers can take part by visiting http://www.questionpro.com

"The Western Australian salmon run is one of the most exciting times on the recreational fishing calendar with abundances of fish making their way up the coast," Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly said.

"We know that tens of thousands of people wet a line each year to experience this amazing WA fishery. Many of those travel to fish, providing an economic boost to tourism, hospitality and retail businesses on the south and west coasts.

"A study that quantifies the economic benefit is needed to provide a strong foundation for promoting the potential tourism, recreational, and community value of this fishery.

"It will also help guide future fisheries management decisions and will be the key to unlocking future projects that enhance WA's recreational fishing experiences.

"The chase for salmon is on with schools of fish spotted off Albany in recent weeks.

"I urge fishers to have a fun and safe experience by keeping the sand between their toes and fishing from beaches instead of rocks.

"If fishing from rocks take care, use a lifejacket and other personal protection equipment."

Source: WA Government