IN OR ON THE WATER: Eyes on the water to protect fisheries



The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will be keeping their eyes on the water along our southern coastlines over the next few months as part of an operation to increase awareness about the importance of fishing within the rules.

WA has some of world's best fisheries and aquatic resources and is it vital that everyone continues to work together to protect them.

'Operation Shadowedge', targeting both commercial and recreational fishers, has commenced with surveillance activities in Esperance, Hopetoun and Collie.

The department will use aerial surveillance and other advanced surveillance equipment including long range cameras and drones to monitor remote fishing locations.

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DPIRD compliance manager South Brad Tilley said as part of Operation Shadowedge fishers should expect to have their catch checked at any place, at any time.

"I encourage all fishers to keep up-to-date with the current rules to make sure they are fishing within those rules which are directed at ensuring there will be plenty of fish for the future," he said.

"The department is working with a number of government agencies and industry stakeholders as part of the operation.

"The focus is on surveillance activities and encouraging voluntary compliance through various education campaigns.

"The use of aerial surveillance in the Esperance and Hopetoun area allows fisheries officers to cover a wider area, quicker, and target remote locations which are very difficult to get to on land.

"In Collie, fisheries officers targeted dams fished for marron and partnered with other government agencies to cover a large area over the two-day operation."

Mr Tilley said these recent surveillance activities have been effective in identifying landing locations of commercial abalone catches and evidence of out of season marron fishing activity.

"Fisheries Officers will continue to focus surveillance patrols in these areas," he said.

"It is great to see so many fishers sticking to the rules, and doing their part to protect our fisheries to make sure they remain sustainable into the future.

"The public can assist by reporting any suspicious fishing activity to Fishwatch."

  • Source: Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.