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Abalone season: Surf Lifesavers rescue 18 during final session

Surf Life Saving WA recorded 18 rescues along the State’s coast during the final hour session of the annual abalone season.

Fishers hunted the prized delicacy between Moore River and the Busselton Jetty on Saturday between 7am and 8am.

In Perth, dozens of eager licensed fishers swarmed the shallow reef at Mettam’s Pool in the city’s north.

Chris Jones and Andrew Bell at Mettam's Pool on the final day of the abalone season.
Camera IconChris Jones and Andrew Bell at Mettam’s Pool on the final day of the abalone season. Credit: Matt Jelonek/The West Australian

Surf rescue crews across the State undertook 301 preventative actions and 18 rescues across the session, with a dozen people requiring first aid.

Rescuers had urged caution with the conditions expected to present medium risks for fishers, however, labelled the hour a success with no serious injuries.

Keen fishers flocked to the coast to get their hands on the highly prized delicacy.
Camera IconKeen fishers flocked to the coast to get their hands on the highly prized delicacy. Credit: Matt Jelonek/The West Australian

“Our dedicated lifesavers closed out the final scheduled abalone fishing session for 21/22 with a successful Abalone Patrol delivered this morning. Thanks to all fishers who heeded our safety advise,” SLSWA said.

It comes as the WA fishing industry braces for a significant bag limit hit for prized catches — such as dhufish and pink snapper — after the McGowan Government revealed on Friday that urgent changes were needed to save fishing stock.

A surf lifesaver helps someone in the water at Mettam's Pool.
Camera IconA surf lifesaver helps someone in the water at Mettam’s Pool. Credit: Matt Jelonek/The West Australian

Fisheries Minister Don Punch said the Government had accepted a recommendation from the industry-led Harvest Strategy Reference to halve total catch limits.

It would slash the total catch limit by half for the commercial, charter and recreational sectors from 750 tonnes to 375 tonnes. The commercial sector would be allowed 240 tonnes of that total.

While no bag limit cuts will be effective immediately, the proposed management options to support the recovery of demersal fish stocks are due to be released for wider public consultation in April.

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