Funding to help boost pink snapper stocks

  • Extra $1 million invested over three years for pink snapper stocking along the west coast
  • WA scientists achieve genetic diversity of snapper fingerlings to match the Cockburn Sound population
  • Families welcomed back to join in the fun of the Snapper Guardians program

About 5,000 juvenile pink snapper raised at the State Government’s Fremantle fish hatchery have today been released into Cockburn Sound at Recfishwest’s Snapper Guardians event.

Western Australian families are once again taking part in the event, following a three-year hiatus during the pandemic.

Over the next three years, the popular program will receive a significant boost, with the McGowan Government providing an extra $1 million to increase pink snapper stocking in the West Coast bioregion. The funding is part of its $10 million West Coast Demersal recovery package.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has raised more than 40,000 pink snapper at its Fremantle hatchery this year, continuing to improve and refine techniques.

Since 2014, the department’s aquaculture scientists have used world-leading techniques for collecting fertilised eggs from wild spawning snapper aggregations in Cockburn Sound for rearing and release.

Importantly, the genetic diversity of hatchery-grown pink snapper released in WA is the same as the natural population in Cockburn Sound. This means the fish are best suited to the local environmental conditions supporting the sustainability of the fishery.

“DPIRD’s aquaculture team is doing incredible work to rear the pink snapper fingerlings for Snapper Guardians and other stocking programs, giving the fish a helping hand through the most vulnerable life stages before release.

“The survival rate of pink snapper eggs in the wild is thought to be less than one percent, but in the hatchery, the survival rate can be as high as 45 to 50 percent.

“From the small beginnings of family fun days to release pink snapper into Cockburn Sound, we are now pursuing an exciting expansion of our stocking program for this key demersal species.”

Minister’s office – 6552 6900

Don Punch

Minister for Regional Development; Disability Services; Fisheries; Seniors and Ageing