You can still catch tailor, herring or whiting – but not SHARK with a wire trace!

Fisheries Minister Don Punch has approved restrictions under the Fish Resources Management Act 1994 prohibiting the use of wire traces when recreational fishing within 800 metres of the shore at Port and Leighton beaches through to South Cottesloe.

Credit Jean Hudson and Fremantle Shipping News

Wire traces are primarily used to fish for sharks. Fishing for other species such as tailor, herring or whiting that does not involve the use of a wire trace will still be allowed at the beaches within the current fishing regulations.

Fremantle Mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge has welcomed the Minister’s swift response to growing community concern about shark fishing at popular swimming beaches.

“We had a terrible fatal shark attack at Port Beach in November, and since then a lot of people have raised concerns with me about shark fishing at our beaches,” Mayor Fitzhardinge said.

“In my view it’s absolutely crazy to throw blood and berley into the water to deliberately attract sharks to a place where people swim.

“Fremantle Council has this week voted to start the process of amending our local law to ban shark fishing everywhere in the City of the Fremantle.

“We’ll soon be going out for public comment on that proposal, and we look forward to hearing the views of beach users and recreational fishers.

“In the meantime, we welcome the state government’s move to stop shark fishing at Port and Leighton beaches and improve safety for swimmers, paddlers and surfers.”

A Fish Habitat Protection Area is already in place for Cottesloe, with beach fishing for sharks prohibited in this area.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development compliance officers will be ensuring fishers adhere to these new restrictions and existing prohibitions on the use of mammal or bird products, such as blood and offal, as berley when fishing for sharks.

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