Fishers urged to abide by closure seasons

Fishers urged to abide by closure seasons

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Recreational fishers have only days left of the Rock Lobster and Pipi season.

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Recreational fishers have only days left of the Rock Lobster and Pipi season.

The annual closure of the Rock Lobster fishing begins at 6pm on Friday, May 31, and Goolwa cockles season closes on Saturday, June 1.

The annual closure bans all recreational Rock Lobster fishing activity in South Australian waters and will stay in place in the Southern Zone until 6am on October 1 and in the Northern Zone until 12pm on November 1.

The Pipi closure runs to October 31.

Both are part of the sustainable management arrangements for the fishery.

PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture executive director, Sean Sloan, said the annual closures helps maintain a healthy lobster and pipi population.

"These closures protect the long-term sustainability of the Rock Lobster fishery and ensure the recreational fishery operates within its allocated share of the resource," Mr Sloan said.

"Closing the recreational Pipi fishery on the Younghusband Peninsula (including Goolwa Beach) at this time each year supports a healthy Pipi population and maintains a sustainable recreational catch within the allocated area."

Mr Sloan said fisheries officers would continue to conduct patrols in coastal waters and Pipi fishing beaches during the coming months to ensure everyone was doing the right thing during the closed season

"Make sure you do the right thing and ensure you comply with the rules of the closure," he said.

He said any Rock Lobster pots found in the water during the closed season would results in the owners risk being fined and having their pots seized.

Fishers caught taking Pipi during the closed season can face fines of up to $20,000 and risk their catch and equipment used in any illegal take of Pipi being seized and forfeited.

Pipi is a popular species for recreational fishers with an estimated 3.24 million Pipi collected in 2013-14, according to the South Australian Recreational Fishing Survey.

The most recent South Australian Recreational Fishing Survey revealed more than 100,000 Southern Rock Lobster had been caught during the survey period - demonstrating the species continues to be a popular target for recreational fishers.

Suspicious or illegal fishing behaviour can be reported to the 24-hour Fishwatch number on 1800 065 022. Callers can choose to remain anonymous.

Find out more about the closure at pir.sa.gov.au/fishing or through the SA Recreational Fishing Guide app, which can be downloaded via pir.sa.gov.au/recfishingapp.

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