Thursday, 22 September 2016
Mr Francis said that, as an added incentive, recreational fishers in WA would not require a licence on the day, allowing people to try their hand at something they might not have tried before.
"More than 750,000 West Australians enjoy recreational fishing each year and Gone Fishing Day is designed to encourage as many people as possible to participate," he said.
"With the State's huge expanse of coastline and numerous seaside communities, recreational fishing has long been part of WA's social fabric, with proven health and wellbeing benefits.
"Whether it is wetting a line in a South-West stream or trying to boat a 'barra' in the Kimberley, there is a diverse range of fishing experiences on offer across the State.
"While October 16 will be licence-free, the normal fishing rules will still apply and fisheries and marine officers will be out and about to ensure compliance."
As a concession to the first-ever national Gone Fishing Day, the annual West Coast Bioregion demersal finfish closure, due to start on Saturday October 15, will be delayed for 48 hours. All other applicable closures will remain in force, including the existing closure on fishing for pink snapper in Cockburn and Warnbro sounds.
"Annual or seasonal closures are used in combination with other measures to ensure the long-term sustainability of fish stocks," the Minister said.
"With the recovery of key demersal species being on track, starting the closure two days later this year, on October 17, will allow fishers to enjoy a day out on the water in the West Coast Bioregion."
Mr Francis said Gone Fishing Day was another example of the Liberal National Government's commitment to providing quality recreational fishing experiences to West Australians through initiatives including artificial reefs and fish stocking projects.
"Every dollar of recreational fishing licence revenue is invested in recreational fishing management, research and compliance, with more than $6 million put towards a range of projects benefiting fishers across the State," he said.
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