West Coast abalone fishing goes ahead

West Coast abalone fishing goes ahead

Recreational fishing for abalone in the West Coast Zone will take place between 7am and 8am on February 20, 2021, with medium to low risk ratings for weather and ocean conditions.

Based on their surf prediction modelling, Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) has recommended the fishing session should proceed, with caution, on Saturday.

The SLSWA modelling uses the best available information on ocean and weather conditions from multiple information sources and rates a range of risk factors. This Saturday, the forecast is for medium ratings on rising tide and primary swell and low winds, tending offshore.

Licensed abalone fishers planning to take part in the one hour session this Saturday need to be confident their skill level in the ocean is suitable for the conditions and we also strongly advise fishers to make an individual assessment of the sea and weather conditions on the day and ensure their clothing and gear are suitable for abalone fishing.

The number of surf lifesaving volunteers to monitor abalone fishing may be lower than normal this Saturday, due to the Rottnest Channel Swim also drawing on the available surf lifesaving resources across Perth.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) will provide further advice on SLSWA patrolled beaches via social media.

DPIRD Senior Management Officer Rhiannon Jones said that licensed fishers should always keep in mind that it would never be worth risking your life to collect abalone.

"At all times safety is a key priority in determining whether fishing days proceed or not," Ms Jones said.

"Flexibility in running fishing sessions on Saturdays in the warmer months of the year puts the safety of recreational fishers first and we must also thank SLSWA for the life savers and equipment they can make available to look after the safety of fishers."

"The remaining fishing sessions (7 to 8am only) for the WCZ season are currently this Saturday, February, 20 plus Saturday, March 13, which is the replacement for the session cancelled due to the COVID-19 lockdown earlier this month."

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

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

We also urge anyone heading to WA's beaches at any time to switch on their Sea Sense - check sharksmart.com.au or download the new SharkSmart WA app. The free app for your smartphone combines shark activity information and other valuable beach safety feature