Anglers in WA will have their possession limits halved under new proposals aimed at simplifying the state’s fishing regulations.
The new strategy, released by the Department of Fisheries last week also aims to make recreational fishing more sustainable.
Under the proposal, fishermen would be limited to possessing 10kg of fillets of vulnerable demersal species, such as pink snapper, dhufish and groper, at any one time, down from the current demersal species limit of 20kg.
Anglers would still be able to possess a further 10kg of other non-vulnerable species for a total limit of 20kg of mixed fillets.
Other proposed changes include bringing daily individual and mixed-bag fish limits into line around the state - taking into account growing populations in WA's north, which have put increasing pressure on remote fish stocks - while banning fish products from travelling unaccompanied.
This would prevent recreational fisherman from sending fish back home while they continued to fish away.
Fisheries director general Stuart Smith said the proposed new rules would simplify fishing regulations around the state, which had been developed for different regions and were now 'complex and cumbersome'.
'Fishing is a popular recreational activity across the state and moving to simplify the rules will help create better understanding of them,' he said.
Mr Smith said it was time to end the 'fill the freezer mentality of the past' and 'ensure the long-term sustainability of WA's highly valued fish stocks'.
Recreational fishermen are now being asked to comment on the proposals before they are finalised.
More at www.fish.wa.gov.au
by Jeni Bone
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2:58 AM Mon 27 Feb 2012GMT
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