In late 2016, following representation from the peak industry bodies for recreational fishing (Recfishwest) and commercial fishing (Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC)) to amend the minimum size limits for a range of key finfish species, Department of Fisheries (Department) developed a formal policy on the application of fish size limits in Western Australia (Policy).
In consultation with Recfishwest and WAFIC, the Department then carried out a review of current finfish size limits against the Policy. In November 2016, the Department released a discussion paper that reviewed all current legal size limits for finfish in Western Australia.
The review used a risk based approach underpinned by a range of scientific data to assess the appropriateness of the current legal size limits that apply to finfish. Outcomes of the review included recommendations to amend size limits and proposals for a number of size limits to be abolished.
This paper will discuss the drivers that led to the development of the Policy, the subsequent review of size limits, the feedback from public submissions and the final decisions regarding the size limit review recommendations.