Fishing aggregating devices to be anchored off Cape Naturaliste

Four Cape Naturaliste FADs will be installed in the next three to four weeks. Image supplied by Recfishwest.
Four Cape Naturaliste FADs will be installed in the next three to four weeks. Image supplied by Recfishwest.

Four offshore fishing aggregating devices will be anchored off Cape Naturaliste in the next three to four weeks providing recreational boat fishers a sports fishing bonanza.

The FAD acts as a floating fish beacon in open ocean to attract schools of baitfish, which brings in large numbers of fast-growing migratory pelagic species such as mahi-mahi, marlin, tuna and wahoo.

Concentrated aggregations of these species make for spectacular fishing for boat fishers and have been used successfully throughout Australia.

Off the metropolitan coast, the Perth Game Fishing Club deploys FAD's in November each year and then retrieves them the following May.

Recfishwest expect the FAD's off Cape Naturaliste will attract species like mahi-mahi in an area where the Leeuwen current flows.

Twenty new regional FAD installations are expected to attract visiting fishers and bring a welcome economic boost to regional towns and centres, with recfishers spending $1.8 billion a year on fishing trips.

Fisheries minister Dave Kelly today said purpose-built floats will be anchored to the seabed at locations off Perth, Albany, Bunbury and Cape Naturaliste over the next few weeks, and off Geraldton, Exmouth and Broome early next year.

The state government have invested $439,000 of recfishing licence fees through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund for the installation, maintenance and monitoring of 26 devices across WA over the next three years.

In 2014, Busselton fisherman Rhys Assan caught a mahi-mahi at Wonnerup Beach.

In 2014, Busselton fisherman Rhys Assan caught a mahi-mahi at Wonnerup Beach.

Mr Kelly said the deployment of these latest FAD's was exciting news for recreational fishers with medium-sized trailer boats and bigger, providing them with the opportunity to catch fantastic sportfish.

"This new network of Fishing Aggregating Devices will also be a bonus for the economy, tourism and jobs in regional centres like Albany and Exmouth by attracting sport fishing tourists locally, nationally and internationally," he said.