Rules and Regulations

Fisheries Legislation

The Western Australian Department of Fisheries sets the bag and size limits and other fishing rules for recreational fishing in Western Australia.

The recreational fishing limits and rules are in place to ensure that fish will always be available in the future so that your children and grandchildren can continue to enjoy recreational fishing. Recfishwest works actively to ensure sustainability and the future of recreational fishing for the benefit of future generations.

In February 2013, the state Government announced a simplified approach to recreational fishing rules throughout the state. These rules are now contained within a single document, and many rules which differed between regions have now been aligned.

The species identification guides have photos and descriptions of the common fish in each region. These are an excellent answer to “what’s that fish?”, and are an easy to carry fish identification reference book for recreational fishers.

Brochures on fishing regulations and species identification guides are available from the Department of Fisheries website.

Marine Parks

Most recreational fishers know about the importance of gaining their recreational fishing licence for WA and their recreational skipper’s ticket in order to fish Perth and WA areas. However, you may not be aware that there are marine parks in WA with specific regulations regarding fishing.

Recreational fishers recognise the difficult challenge governments face when seeking to achieve a balance between biodiversity conservation and access to marine resources. This is particularly relevant given the current uncertainty that surrounds the extent of biodiversity in Western Australia and the nature and extent of the impact that recreational fishing is having on that biodiversity.

Ningaloo Marine Park (photo courtesy of WA Department of Parks and Wildlife)

In general, recreational fishers are not opposed to the creation of Marine Protected Areas. Indeed, Recfishwest is a strong supporter of the establishment of conservation areas to preserve the high value marine environments. Recfishwest promotes the appropriate protection of high value conservation areas of in Western Australia.

The state of Western Australia has numerous Marine Protected Areas, which fall under either state or commonwealth law and within which some fishing restrictions may apply. The Australian Anglers Association (WA Division) keeps an extensive reference list of both current and proposed marine parks in Western Australia.

License feature

WA Fishing Licences

While you don’t need to have a recreational fishing licence to dangle a line in Western Australia most of the time, some activities do require specific licences.