Efforts to prevent a fishing ban being approved in Western Australia have gained further momentum as a petition calling for a review of the proposal passed 17,000 names and a senior politician joined the plan’s critics.
If approved, the proposal will mean a nine-month ban on recreational fishing for popular demersal species along WA’s coastline from Augusta in the south-west up to Kalbarri.
“The McGowan Labour Government must consider the economic impact of its policy, as the potential financial loss for local tackle stores, boat shops and charter operators cannot be ignored,” said state Shadow Fisheries Minister Colin de Grossa.
“Refusal to consider alternatives is another example of Labor’s arrogant and ignorant approach to one of WA’s most loved activities.”
The proposal will ban fishing for demersal species, including pink snapper and dhufish, limiting the opportunities for WA anglers and having a long-term effect on participation. The consultation period has already been extended, but will end tomorrow.
de Grossa also pointed out that the recreational fishing sector worked hard to maintain sustainability and created alternative management solutions. “West Australians can have their voice heard by signing the petition,” he added.
Tackle shop owners fear the ban would devastate their sales, forcing them to focus on national and international sales online. And fishing clubs are concerned it could mean an end to recreational fishing as members of all ages would have very little opportunity to fish.