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Seafood better bought than caught: survey

WHILE the debate about sharing fisheries between commercial and recreational fishermen rages, it appears Western Australians would rather buy their seafood than catch it.

This is one of the main findings of a survey by the WA Fishing Industry Council, the body representing the commercial fishing industry.

The survey found 93 per cent of Western Aust-ralians eat seafood. More than half the households have fresh seafood on the menu at least once a week and 83 per cent of us buy 50 per cent or more of the seafood consumed at home. In fact, 61 per cent buy more than 90 per cent of all fresh seafood consumed.

WAFIC executive officer Guy Leyland said access to fisheries was the key issue facing the commercial fishing industry.

“There is always a lot of emotion displayed in any discussion regarding how fish stocks should be shared between commercial and recreational fishers,” Mr Leyland said.

“There are many pressure groups purporting to represent the so-called silent majority in the community, said to comprise of recreational fishers and tourists.”

A majority of respondents agreed the WA Government should do more to inform recreational fishers on the importance of remaining within legal catch limits.

More than 70 per cent agreed the government would need to reduce legal catch limits as the number of recreational fishers continued to grow. Also, 85 per cent said the commercial fishing industry was important in providing fresh seafood for WA consumption.

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