Fisheries Minister Don Punch has approved an increase in the daily bag limit for recreational herring fishing in Western Australia from 12 to 20 fish, to be enacted by October 1, 2022, in time for the summer fishing season.
Recfishwest requested the increase following the latest stock assessment, which indicated management action as part of the stock recovery plan had been effective in rebuilding the herring stock.
Prior to making the request, Recfishwest undertook consultation with recreational fishers who provided strong support for the increase. The change also has the support of commercial herring fishers through the WA Fishing Industry Council.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will now draft legislation to lift the bag limit and it is anticipated the regulation change will be enacted by October 1, 2022. In the meantime, the current bag limit of 12 remains in place.
Longer-term management arrangements will be considered by a stakeholder working group, involving representatives of both the commercial and recreational fishing sectors.
As stated by Fisheries Minister Don Punch:
“This is great news for recreational fishers, with the increase in herring abundance following successful recovery of the fishery set to improve their fishing experiences and enable bag limits to be increased.
“Both recreational and commercial fishers are to be congratulated for their roles in the herring stock recovery. They are now enjoying the benefits of their commitment to the recovery and ongoing sustainability of the Australian herring resource – with more herring available for recreational fishers and for commercial fishers to supply for human consumption.
“Good science and sustainable management remains the key to protecting quality recreational fishing experiences and enhancing the supply of Australian herring for the local consumers.”