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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

WA fish campaign to reel in tourists

Recfishwest CEO, Andrew Rowland and Chairman, Tim Bray with WA Premier, Mark McGowan and Fisheries Minister, Peter Tinley.

The Western Australian Government has unveiled a $6 million package to support the state’s recreational fishing industry as part of the WA Recovery Plan. 

The package – developed in partnership with WA’s peak recreational fishing body, Recfishwest – includes new artificial reefs, a boost to finfish stocks to increase fishing opportunities in the metropolitan area, and a new marketing campaign to drive more locals and tourists to WA’s iconic fishing locations.

“Recreational fishing is worth an estimated $2.4 billion annually to WA and has an impressive history of supporting regional economies through tourism,” said Premier, Mark McGowan.

“The $6 million package includes funding to install more artificial reefs in regional locations, which will help sustain existing jobs, create new employment opportunities and provide ongoing tourism assets that can be factored into tourism promotions.

He said a shallow water reef would be installed off Albany and additional state-of-the-art structures would be deployed to create safe fishing meccas off two other regional towns.

“By developing these new fishing opportunities we aim to encourage Western Australians to holiday within the State and produce wider community benefits under WA’s Recovery Plan.”

“The WA Recovery Plan recognises the importance of both social and economic recovery across WA, and recreational fishing is a strong element in our social fabric.”

He said the plan would deliver a significant boost to fish stocks in Perth metropolitan waters. 

The stocking of finfish species, such as yellowtail kingfish, will support new fishing opportunities on new North Metro Reef to create a drawcard for tourism and support the 50 fishing tour vessels operating off the Perth coast.

The Cockburn Sound ‘Snapper Guardians’ program will also be extended, and an additional one million barramundi will be released annually into Lake Kununurra.

“Western Australians love their fishing and we are lucky through our management of COVID-19 that our fishers are getting out and about again,” said Fisheries Minister, Peter Tinley.

“These initiatives will further enhance recreational fishing experiences to support the recreational fishers, which generates jobs and recovery for Western Australia.

“In dropping a line, setting a pot, collecting an abalone or scooping a crab, it’s the enjoyment of the catch that inspires recfishers and gets them out and about around the State.”

The government is also working with Recfishwest to develop a State-wide marketing campaign for iconic WA fishing experiences, destinations and businesses to help create new jobs and strengthen the recovery. 

New promotions to feature in the marketing campaign are set to include the development of a WA Fishing Trails and Calendar to not only promote salmon in the south but also showcase barramundi in the north. 

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