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This report presents catch and effort estimates from three surveys of boat-based fishers. Recreational anglers used lines with bait or lures to catch fish. Boat-based crabbers either use drop nets or catch crabs by hand whilst diving or snorkelling. Surveys of recreational fishing activities that included coverage of Cockburn Sound were conducted during 1996/1997 (Sumner and Williamson, 1999), in 2001/02 (Sumner and Malseed, 2004) and in 2005/06 (Sumner et al., 2008). The 1996/97 and 2005/06 surveys covered the entire West Coast Bioregion of Western Australia, which includes Cockburn Sound. There was a need to re-analyse data collected during the 1996/97 and 2001/02 surveys so the boundaries used for Cockburn Sound and methods used for all surveys matched as closely as possible.

For the 2005/06 survey, Cockburn Cement Ltd provided funds to increase the intensity of survey sampling in Cockburn Sound above that which would have otherwise occurred as part of the overall experimental design for the entire West Coast Bioregion. The 2001/02 survey had a particular focus on blue swimmer crab (Portunus pelagicus) fisheries of the lower west coast region of Western Australia due to concerns over resource allocation between the recreational and commercial sectors. Consequently, this survey also included coverage of Geographe Bay to the south. For comparability with the 1996/97 and 2005/06 surveys, however, only the boat-based catch and effort estimates from Cockburn Sound in 2001/02 have been included in this particular report.



Publication Date



Department of Fisheries


North Beach, Western Australia


Recreational fishing, Fishery statistics, Boat fishing, Catch statistics, Fishery surveys, Western Australia


Aquaculture and Fisheries

Boat-based recreational fishing catch and effort in Cockburn Sound and Owen Anchorage during 1996/97, 2001/02 and 2005/06