Western Australians can now enjoy recreational fishing for rock lobsters all year-round.
The extension of recreational rock lobster fishing south of North West Cape, near Exmouth, to a year-round opportunity for recreational fishers has been made possible due to the successful management of this highly valued fishery.
The change opens the door to winter rock lobster fishing at key holiday destinations, such as Rottnest Island, the Abrolhos Islands and the Cape to Cape region in WA’s South-West.
As part of the recreational sector’s responsibility to reduce the risk of pot rope entanglements with migrating humpback whales, recreational lobster fishers will be asked to adopt a new approach to their fishing State-wide.
Recfishers on both the south and west coasts will now have the same night fishing curfew, be restricted to two floats and required to ensure the top half of their pot ropes are held vertically in the water column, when using more than 20 metres of rope. These new rules will apply all year-round.
This arrangement gets ropes off the surface and complements the whale interaction mitigation measures already in place for the commercial sector.
Today’s announcement builds on other recent changes to make rock lobster fishing more accessible, such as simplifying the rules throughout the season and across WA.
Previously recreational rock lobster fishing south of North West Cape would close between July 1 to October 14. A year-round season for recreational fishers, brings the fishery in line with commercial operations.