Image: AFTA Chair, Hon.Bob Baldwin at Tackle World Miami with the WARFFA executive team Brian Marshall, Tim Farnell, Ash Ramm & Julie Ramm. 


We have now been dealt our fate with the West Coast Demersal fishery and had some time to absorb what was in the package presented by the Minister.  You can click on the links below if you haven’t seen them.

West Coast Demersal Scalefish Resource


Media statements – Measures to protect the future of iconic WA fish

West Australian Recreational Family Fishing Alliance (WARFFA) would like to advise our extreme disappointment at the outcome. Rest assured, we will keep the pressure on the McGowan Government on this decision.  The fact is the Social and Economic study was clearly not done, and the fact the Minister and the Department took a lot from the package put forward by RecFishWest (RFW) and WARFFA and still landed us with a six-month ban leaves a bad taste for our industry the Recreational angling community and supporting businesses WARFFA represent.

Make no mistake; the Labor Government has punished the recreational angler and associated small businesses, with next to no impact on the commercial sector. WARFFA WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT THIS BATTLE AGAINST THIS GOVERNMENT, AND YOUR ONGOING SUPPORT IS VITAL.

We have been hit up with a heap of questions regarding the package; we ask for your patience as we seek clarity from the Department, but please keep asking the questions; we will do our best to answer them.  One that stands out significantly is why commercial fishers can continue to fish 12 months of the year and target spawning fish. IF THIS IS ALL ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY, why is the government allowing Commercial fishers to continue to take breeding fish?? It just doesn’t add up, and common sense has NOT prevailed. I urge you all to contact the Minister, the Premier and your local MP AGAIN and let them know your distaste for this less-than-desirable outcome. WARFFA understands that calls and emails can be tedious but don’t underestimate their power.


CALL: Minister’s office – 6552 6900


The main POSITIVE out of this package is the voluntary buy-back scheme for commercial fishers. This is the beginning of the pathway to making the WA Dhufish a rec-only species. Without the efforts of our Industry, RFW and support from recreational anglers who signed the petition, we may not have landed here. This will take time before the REC sector sees any benefits of this, and what they may look like regarding re-allocation remains to be seen, but it is something we didn’t have 12 months ago, so it is undoubtedly a win if we can call it that.

Land-based angling for demersal being an option for 12 months of the year, is certainly a small win, especially for those without a boat.

We are also fortunate that both the Christmas and Easter holiday periods are still open, and a vast majority of good demersal fishing times are during Autumn and early Winter, where we can get flat calm, windless conditions and arguably better fishing.

THAT ALL SAID, and we could go on for hours; WARFFA will now be pushing and focussing our efforts on A POSITIVE MINDSET.  With 12 months of uncertainty in our industry, we must now put negative thoughts and comments aside, as this can only hamper sales further. We must now promote and build excitement not only our customers but ALL our staff on other types of fishing available on our doorstep and in our great state. I have already seen some proactiveness in this space, with more promotion of bream, whiting, squid, tailor and surf fishing.  Anglers will still be going demersal fishing; it hasn’t been closed for 8,9, or 12 months of the year.

We must start promoting the full fishing experience that WA offers.  We can start the day by pulling a few cray pots and catching a feed of crays. We can then move on and catch a feed of demersals (during open times, obviously) keep what we catch first up, not releasing fish, and then move on to round the day off with a feed of whiting and/or squid or perhaps troll up a mackerel or tuna during the season.  Maybe there is a tailor wash nearby, where anglers can cast a few lures around; this is an exciting form of fishing.  This will help us not only help us sell different types of tackle, rods, reels, lures, jigs and bait but also improve the whole experience of a day out on the water. If we can engage more kids in fishing this way, it will also set them up as all-rounder anglers. I URGE all of you to meet with your staff, have these types of discussions, and focus on new opportunities.

WARFFA is committed to keeping the pressure on the McGown Government, and the war has only just begun. WE STILL FISH AND WE STILL VOTE, let’s not lose sight of that. Whilst we fight in the background, let’s push forward as an industry and do what we do best: promote fishing, sustainability, and fair and equitable fisheries access.

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West Australian Recreational Family Fishing Alliance