Drafting Of Regulations Approved Allowing Recreational Fishers To Share Bag Limits

Drafting Of Regulations Approved Allowing Recreational Fishers To Share Bag Limits

Western Australia Minister for Fisheries Dave Kelly

Sharing Recreational Bag Limits On Boats Just Makes Sense

Victor P Taffa

  • Regulations will be drafted to allow fishers on boats to pool their catches
  • To share bag limits, fishers will need to be actively involved in the fishing
  • A common sense approach that removes complexity and confusion

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has approved the drafting of regulations to allow recreational fishers to share bag limits when fishing from boats.

“It just makes sense for recreational fishers sharing a day out on a boat to share their catch, provided the boat limit or the applicable combined bag limit is not exceeded.” Minister for Fisheries Dave Kelly said.

“Following concerns raised by Recfishwest that existing catch regulations for licensed fisher’s onboard vessels are confusing, I was keen to find a way to simplify the rules.”

This coming change to Western Australia’s fishing rules represents a common sense approach that recognises existing recreational fishing practices and is aimed at simplifying the rules.

Importantly, this change will enable fishers to legally share catch from rock lobster pots.

Under the existing legislation for example, a licensed recreational rock lobster fisher can only retain 8 rock lobsters from the pot with their gear ID attached. No further lobster can be retained from that pot. The new arrangements will allow more than one bag limit of rock lobster to be retained from a single pot provided there are other licence holders onboard.

Other examples of sharing bag limits include fishing for blue swimmer crabs or line fishing for scalefish such as whiting and herring where the combined catch is placed in a single icebox.

Formal process required to change the rules will need to take place. It is anticipated the new regulations will be gazetted by mid-2018. In the meantime, compliance officers will be taking the proposed change into account when they are checking fishing activity.