Saturday, April 20, 2024

WA dives into FADs fish program

The WA Government has announced it will invest an additional $1.5 million to expand the state’s Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) program over the next three years.

Committed as part of the West Coast Demersal Scalefish Support Package, the Government says 18 new FADs will be deployed along the Western Australian coast over the next six months.

It is in addition to 22 FADs funded through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF).

“This additional $1.5 million investment by the McGowan Government to expand the Fish Aggregating Devices program will provide even more exciting opportunities for anglers up and down our coast,” said WA Fisheries Minister, Don Punch.

“Switching your fish and targeting different species will allow other more vulnerable fish like dhufish and pink snapper time to recover to ensure there are plenty of fish for future generations to enjoy.”

Four FADs went into the water off Cape Naturaliste last week, with two more to be deployed next month off Rockingham and at several Perth metropolitan coast locations between Rottnest and Two Rocks in water depths of between 130 and 350 metres.

An additional 10 FADs will be dropped before the end of summer off Albany and, for the first time, off Jurien Bay and Mandurah.

The latest deployments follow a highly popular and successful State-wide FAD trial by Recfishwest over the past three years, funded through the RFIF, the Minister said.

FADs consist of buoys or floats that are moored to the ocean floor using an anchor system.  The primary function of a FAD is to attract baitfish which use the FAD as shelter and in turn attract pelagic fish such as mahi-mahi, tuna and marlin.

In the southern parts of WA, FADs are deployed annually during summer and retrieved before the onset of winter storms. FADs in northern waters are deployed during winter and retrieved prior to the start of the cyclone season.

Locations of the FADs can be found by visiting https://recfishwest.org.au/fads/fad-locations/.

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