Recreational demersal fishing closure to aid stock recovery

Media release
Boat based-recreational fishing for demersal scalefish between Kalbarri and Augusta will close on 1 August and reopen for the next school holidays on 23 September.
Last updated: 28 July 2023
Pink snapper at sea waters surface

The eight-week seasonal closure for the West Coast Demersal Fishery is an important measure in the recovery plan to boost demersal fish stocks including WA dhufish, pink snapper, baldchin groper and breaksea cod.

In addition to the recreational closure, the Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds pink snapper spawning closure for all sectors – commercial, recreational and charter - also starts on the 1 August and runs through to the 31 January 2024.

This means no boat or land-based fishing is allowed for pink snapper in Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds during this period, including the September school holidays, when the fishery will be open again for recreational fishing.

Land-based line fishing for demersal scalefish or fishing on a licensed charter boat is permitted all year round, except in spawning closure areas.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Director Aquatic Resource Management Nathan Harrison said it was important for all fishers to follow the closure periods and the new rules to support the recovery of demersal species.

“It’s time for fishers to give demersals a break and switch their fishing activities to target other non-demersal species such as squid, herring and whiting,” he said.

“An additional month has also been added to the beginning of the Cockburn and Warnbro spawning closure, to cover the full breeding season for pink snapper.

“Providing greater targeted spawning protection for aggregating pink snapper in this area from 1 August, is another strategy being taken to boost the recovery of this important resource.

“If you are unsure about the demersal fishing rules, check the updated recreational fishing guide online.”

The recreational fishery outside Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds will reopen for the next school holiday period on Saturday 23 September 2023.

Full details on all recreational fishing season opening and closing times can be found in the recreational fishing calendar.

For more details on fishing rules download the Recreational fishing guide from

Picture caption: Recreational fishing for demersal scalefish between Kalbarri and Augusta will close on 1 August as to support the recovery of this important resource.