RECREATIONAL fishing possession limits have come into place for the first time in South Australia, which includes for King George Whiting.
The possession limits were announced in July and came into effect on September 30.
Under the new restrictions, King George Whiting is now limited to six times the bag limit (72 fish) or seven kilograms of fillets.
Where a person has possession of both whole fish and fillets, a limit of up to three times the bag limit (36 fish) and up to 3.5 kilograms of fillets applies.
Restrictions have also been placed on razorfish, which is now limited to four times the recreational bag limit (100 fish).
Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy at Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) Sean Sloan said the limits were aimed at protecting South Australian fish stocks from exploitation.
“Feedback from fishers who took part in a public consultation process last year highlighted concerns fish stocks were being depleted by local and interstate fishers visiting popular regional fishing locations specifically to take and stockpile large quantities of fish,” he said.
“While possession limits set the maximum number of fish which can be kept, we encourage fishers to only take enough for their immediate needs so recreational catches can remain at sustainable levels.”
District Council of Ceduna have the implementation of fishing limits on King George Whiting, but have argued against the weight limit of seven kilograms.
Ceduna Mayor Allan Suter said the Council is delighted the possession limits are in place, though they are tighter than they need to be.
“We recommended a weight limit of ten kilograms, as the seven kilogram limit wasn’t realistic to the bigger fish available on the Far West Coast,” he said.
“However full credit should go to the Government on acting to fix what was becoming a real issue.”
Possession limits will also apply in circumstances where long-term storage of King George Whiting or razorfish is occurring through methods including freezing, pickling and smoking.
PIRSA said Fisheries Officers will conduct regular patrols of fishing spots and will monitor any alleged taking and stockpiling of any of these species.
Officers will also work closely with PIRSA’s statewide network of Fishcare Volunteers to ensure fishers fully understand the new possession limits.
Anyone wishing report illegal or suspicious fishing practices are encouraged to contact FISHWATCH on 1800 065 522.