Aug 22, 2022 | State News, Will Baston

Perth-Labor’s Minister for Fisheries must come to Kalbarri and listen to the community on his plans to lock recreational fishers out of seeking species such as Snapper and Dhufish.

“The community strongly supports sustainable practices, but a blanket ban for most of the year is unacceptable,” Liberal Candidate for North West Central, Will Baston, said.

“There are other options to improve fish stocks, including those put forward by RecfishWest, which should have been tested before this draconian measure,” he said.

“Telling locals in Kalbarri to ‘take the pain’ is insensitive when they have suffered so much already through the delayed Cyclone Seroja rebuild.

The recreational fishing industry underpins Kalbarri’s economy and countless local jobs. Perth-Labor’s ban will hit those in the accommodation, retail, fishing tackle and charter fishing businesses the hardest.

“The Kalbarri Sports Fishing Classic, which was held in late February this year, attracted visitors from right across WA. Don Punch has now put the future of this iconic event under a cloud.

“I am fighting for our coastal communities to preserve our way of life through sensible policy, rather than reactive announcements.

“Unlike Perth-Labor, I am also out in the community listening to what locals have to say.

“Submissions on this proposal close on 16 September and I encourage everybody to send a message that sustainable fishing does not need to be managed with a sledgehammer.”