Recreational fishing may appear to have less of an impact on the environment, compared with commercial fishing, but it is a popular past-time in Western Australia, and is increasingly putting pressure on limited fish stocks.
In some species, targeted by both commercial and recreational sectors, the amateur catch may actually exceed the commercial catch. Unlike most commercial fisheries, in which the number of fishers is capped, the number of recreational participants currently increases with the population.
Recreational fisheries are difficult to manage because of the large number of participants and variety of fishing practices. It is essential that guidelines and regulations are followed to protect and conserve Western Australia’s fish stocks to ensure sustainable development of our fish resources.