Fishing restrictions now apply

Busselton Dunsborough Times

Recreational fishers are being reminded the West Coast Bioregion will be closed to recreational fishing for demersal scalefish species for the next two months.

The closure, which started on Saturday, covers an area stretching from Kalbarri to Augusta, applies to “high risk” bottom dwelling fish including dhufish, pink snapper and baldchin groper.

It is part of a range of management measures to cut the recreational catch by 50 per cent.

The decision follows independent research that showed these species were being overfished.

Fisheries Department spokesperson Nathan Harrison said stiff penalties would be applied to any recreational fishers who ignored the closure.

“Fishers … caught with demersal scalefish in their possession will have those fish seized and they could be prosecuted and fined up to $5,000, plus mandatory penalties of ten times the value of the catch,” he said.

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