Recfishwest's early Xmas present for recreational rock lobster fishers

western rock lobster
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Recreational fishers will be rewarded an early Christmas present with the announcement today of dramatic changes to the western rock lobster fishing rules which will come into effect at the start of this year’s season.

The new rules, which include a return of the daily bag limit of rock lobster from six to eight, come after Recfishwest successfully negotiated with the Department of Fisheries to take the peak body’s recommendations on board.

In addition to the two extra rock lobsters each licence holder is permitted to keep each day, the revised set of rules will include a first for WA.

During the 2012-13 season, three licence holders will be allowed to fish for rock lobster from the one vessel.

When three or more licence holders are on board, six pots can be pulled each trip and the boat limit increases to 24.

The escape gap sizes on pots will also decrease to 54mm and the ban on diving for rock lobster at the Abrolhos Islands will be lifted.

Recfishwest Chief Executive Officer Andrew Rowland commended the department for making the decision based on sound science, listening to the community and in doing so ensuring fishing recreationally for western rock lobster is an enjoyable and rewarding activity.

'While this revised set of rules will make it easier for recreational fishers to catch a feed of western rock lobster, it will also ensure we come closer to catching our share of the resource,' Dr Rowland said.

Dr Rowland was referring to recreational fishers catching less than half their allocated 5 per cent share of the rock lobster resource during past seasons.

He also thanked the Recfishwest Rock Lobster Reference Group, which consists of passionate recreational fishers from around the State, for contributing their time and expertise to this outcome.

Being a member of Recfishwest is a great way for the public to contribute and have their say on the management of recreational fishing resources, such as western rock lobster.

Revised rule changes:
• Increase in daily bag limit from six to eight rock lobster;
• Decrease in the escape gap size on pots to 54mm;
• Increase in the number of licences able to operate from a boat from two to three;
• Boat limit increased to 24 when three or more licensed fishers on board;
• Number of pots which may be pulled per boat trip increased to six when there are three or more licensed fishers on board;
• Ban on diving for rock lobster at the Abrolhos Islands lifted.

More at www.recfishwest.org.au
http://www.sail-world.com/101809