Fishing Ban extended to Protect Spawning Snapper

The Department of Fisheries has been forced to extend the annual ban on fishing for pink snapper in Cockburn Sound and Warnbro Sound, until January 10, 2007.

Since the fishery was reopened last Friday, large aggregations of spawning snapper have been observed in both Sounds, making them extremely vulnerable while this natural process continues.

Department of Fisheries Management Officer Nathan Harrison said Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds were known pink snapper breeding grounds for the entire coastal strip between Mandurah and Lancelin.

“An unusual set of environmental conditions appears to have delayed some of the spawning activity from its normal pattern and until the aggregations can peak and disperse during the next lunar cycle, fishing activity could harm the ongoing sustainability of the species on the Western Australian coast,” Mr Harrison said.

“Importantly, this ban will apply to both recreational and commercial fishers and we are in the process of updating signs and letting people know through advertisements.

“We realise it may be frustrating for fishers to have the normal ban lifted for a few days, only to have an extension of the annual closure imposed that will prevent them from fishing for pink snapper until early in the new year.”

Mr Harrison said that the Department’s responsibility at all times was to protect the sustainability of different species and that right now, the vulnerability of pink snapper in both Sounds was too great not to take immediate management action.

“We have to protect the breeding stock against overfishing at this time,” he said.

“Tagging studies show that pink snapper usually migrate into Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds in late winter and early spring, forming spawning aggregations, but, it appears environmental conditions have significantly extended the spawning activity this year.”

Mr Harrison reminded fishers who caught pink snapper further off the coast, during the closure, that they must not stop to fish for other species in the restricted areas, if they were returning to boat ramps inside Cockburn or Warnbro Sounds.

“All of these measures are about preserving pink snapper stocks for future generations and protecting WA's unique lifestyle and environment,” Mr Harrison said.


Site Admin - Just ask if you need assistance

Andy Mac's picture

Posts: 4779

Date Joined: 03/02/06

Good move on the part of Fisheries

Tue, 2006-12-19 18:51

I've heard some pretty sad stories of late of people heading out multiple times a day returning with their bag limits each time. That's nothing but rape and pillage and has to stop.


Andy Mac



Andy Mac (Fishwrecked Reeltime Editor & Forum Moderator)

Youngest member of the Fishwrecked Old Farts Club

Adam Gallash's picture

Posts: 15464

Date Joined: 29/11/05


Tue, 2006-12-19 19:56

Me too, I even heard that some were passing fish between boats to those that didn't have any. The schools were so thick they were bubbling on the surface like tuna, but the water was pink. Glad that they've closed it to be honest.


Site Admin - Just ask if you need assistance

Jamie Chester's picture

Posts: 66

Date Joined: 12/11/06

Boiling pinkies

Wed, 2006-12-20 12:12

Just curious if anyone has any photos of the surface boils - this is usually a spawning rather than a feeding thing I think. In the old days there used to be reports of this sort of thing in Shark Bay - some of the pros I've talked to have told me.

Where in the sound was the carnage happening - with that many boats it would be easy to find which is half the problem. I am so not interested for fishing for them.

Geez I feel sorry for those Sound fish - thank god its been closed.

Andy's picture

Posts: 522

Date Joined: 08/10/05

Snapper closure

Tue, 2006-12-19 21:24

We have fished cockburn sound for the last 4 nights and have taken 2 fish. We have seen people landing fish and throwing them to the boats around them because they have their limits. Have seen people at lunchtime come in with their limits and back out again that night. Saw a commercial boat bring in about 30 fish in half an hour this arvo. Seems that people dont really care. Its a good move.

Posts: 241

Date Joined: 30/10/05


Tue, 2006-12-19 21:45

today i heard about the closure must say good thing. as for the absolute retards i have witnessed today there is no wonder that it is back on. i witnessed a few boats tonight going into the middle of the boils four people all hook up land the fish and then retreat out sort the fish into the eskys rebait and head straight back in. the limit is one over 70 cm nuggets not four or five per person. not onlly wass it like rape and pillaging but the skippers of the boats were appalling. we anchored up away form the main action to wait for the fish to come to us. there was boats goign everywhere hitting each other cutting lines running over lines. i mean come on people they are only fish is it worth denting your boat for. we had our chance with the fish as they came our way and as soon as we hooked up we had about thirty boats all round us trying to get one more. my boat got hit i pushed many boats away, i didnt want a picnic on the back of me boat. we caught our one fish for the boat and packed up and left. one fish is enough for a family for a feed.well thats my little gripe. good on you fisheries maybe the water ploice should show up just for dangerous skippers next time. oh and to the boat that threatened the fisheries guys today out there, good on ya mates ya bunch of tools. maybe if we alll took our limits then they wouldnt be so harsh on ya.

Tim's picture

Posts: 2484

Date Joined: 26/09/06

Got to agree. After

Tue, 2006-12-19 22:32

Got to agree.

After watching the mayhem out there tonight the Fisheries and Police would have been a good idea. We got hit by another boat who said he didnt even see us and we were anchored well away from the action looking on. He then proceeded to tell us he had 2 big Pinkys on board (Limit for the 2 people on board) before he tore off to park on top of the school again.

With the behaviour of alot of these people and disrespect for the rules that are in place even when the season had opened it looks as if it would need fisheries out there in boats all day to try and get this under control.

Adam Gallash's picture

Posts: 15464

Date Joined: 29/11/05


Wed, 2006-12-20 12:14

I hear most of the damage has been done on the D9, but the fish have been moving through the gravel patch out to the mussel farms and between the Islands as well.


Site Admin - Just ask if you need assistance

Posts: 241

Date Joined: 30/10/05

hey adam the d9 fires up

Wed, 2006-12-20 19:34

hey adam the d9 fires up early morning the first few days but the boils started up at the northen end garden island has been the go. about 700m south of that mussle farm. thank god for this closure.