New shark fishing rules introduced for Fremantle beaches

By on February 20, 2022 0

The Western Australian government has introduced new rules to stop recreational shark fishing at Fremantle’s Port and Leighton beaches.

WA Fisheries Minister Don Punch has approved restrictions under the Fisheries Resource Management Act 1994 prohibiting the use of metal traces when recreational fishing within 800m of shore on beaches in Port and Leighton to South Cottesloe.

Wires are mainly used to fish for sharks. Fishing for other species such as tailor, herring or whiting that does not involve the use of a wire will still be permitted on the beaches under current fishing regulations.

Fremantle City Mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge hailed the state government’s swift response to growing community concern over shark fishing at popular bathing beaches.

Mayor Fitzhardinge says: “We had a horrific fatal shark attack at Port Beach in November, and since then many people have come to me with concerns about shark fishing on our beaches.

“In my opinion, it’s absolutely insane to throw blood and berley in the water to deliberately attract sharks to a place where people are swimming.”

Paul Millachip, a 57-year-old man from Perth, was swimming around 30 meters off Port Beach when he was fatally attacked by a shark in November 2021.

Fremantle Council has voted to start the process of changing its local law to ban shark fishing anywhere in the city of Fremantle, with Mayor Fitzhardinge adding “we will soon be consulting the public on this proposal, and we look forward to to hear the views of beachgoers and recreational anglers.

“In the meantime, we welcome the state government’s decision to halt shark fishing at Port and Leighton beaches and improve safety for swimmers, paddlers and surfers.”

A fish habitat protection area is already in place for Cottesloe, with shark fishing on the beach prohibited in this area.

Compliance officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will ensure that anglers comply with these new restrictions and existing prohibitions on the use of mammalian or bird products, such as blood and offal, such as berley when fishing for sharks.

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