West Coast Zone January abalone fishing hour goes ahead

Recreational fishers will hit the shores of the South-West as the abalone fishing hour takes place this weekend.

The West Coast Zone - from Busselton Jetty to Moore River - will open recreational fishing for abalone between 7am and 8am on January 11.

The fishing hour in the West Coast Zone is only open to licensed abalone fishers for an hour at a time and is one of the most tightly controlled abalone fishing regions in Australia.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Senior Management Officer Rhiannon Jones warned fishers to be safe, and said that licensed fishers should always keep in mind that no abalone catch was ever worth risking a life for.

"At all times safety is the department's key priority in determining whether fishing days proceed or not," she said.

"Flexibility in running fishing sessions on Saturdays in the warmer months of the year puts the safety of recreational fishers first.

"For this fishery to remain sustainable, it's also vital fishers comply with the bag and size limits for abalone and DPIRD Fisheries Officers will be at abalone fishing locations in the West Coast Zone to check compliance on Saturday."

Recreational fishers planning to take part in the hour were also reminded to make an individual assessment of the sea and weather conditions on the day and ensure their water skills, clothing, and gear are suitable for abalone fishing.

The strict regulations within the West Coast Zone are to ensure the total catch for the season is managed to be within the DPIRD sustainable reference levels of 18 to 22 tonnes.

The remaining fishing hours for the season are currently this Saturday, then on two more Saturdays in February - the 1st and the 15th.

More abalone fishing rules are available at fish.wa.gov.au and SLSWA has abalone fishing safety tips at: mybeach.com.au/safety-rescue-services/coastal-recreation/abalone/

This story Abalone fishing hour opens first appeared on Bunbury Mail.