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Port River Mud Cockle Fishery Closure to Continue

03 July 2013

AUSTRALIA - PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture is extending the Port River Mud Cockle fishing closure for another year, in response to continuing concerns about the sustainability of local fish stocks.

The Mud Cockle fishery has been closed to all commercial and recreational activity since 1 July 2011. The fishing closure for Mud Cockle in the Port River will now be extended until 30 June 2014.

Executive Director at PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture, Professor Mehdi Doroudi, said the extension of the closure was necessary to support the recovery of the stocks in the area.

"The commercial fishing industry has expressed their ongoing concerns about the status of Mud Cockle stocks in the Port River," Professor Doroudi said.

"As a result, PIRSA has consulted with both commercial and recreational fishing sectors and gained their support to continue the closure for a further 12 months."

The closure applies to the Port River and all surrounding waters east of a line from the end of Port Gawler Road to the tip of Lefevre Peninsula, Outer Harbor.

Professor Doroudi said the continued closure would give stocks the best possible chance for recovery.

"There are several factors that may be influencing poor stock levels, such as high catch levels before the fishery became quota managed in 2008, mortality events and recent unfavourable environmental conditions for recruitment," he said.

"The continuation of the closure is a vital management tool to protect the species and eliminate fishing pressure that could impact the long term sustainability of Mud Cockles in the area.

"A scientific survey will be required prior to reopening the zone to fishing in the future."

Commercial fishers with access to take Mud Cockle will continue to operate in zones around Coffin Bay and the West Coast, which are unaffected by the closure.

Other known areas for collection of Mud Cockles by recreational fishers include Coffin Bay and bays along the West Coast, such as Smoky Bay, Venus Bay and Streaky Bay.

More information on the closure is available by clicking here.

TheFishSite News Desk

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