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Scientists and recreational fishers collaborate to protect SA's iconic King George Whiting

Thursday 19 April 2018

Researchers who are working to protect the future of South Australia’s iconic King George Whiting stocks are seeking assistance from recreational fishers to support the cause with a donation to science.


Throughout April, recreational fishers can donate their King George Whiting frames at more than 20 fishing and tackle shops in South Australia.

The frames will then be collected and sent to the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), a division of Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA), for inspection and research.

“By donating frames, recreational fishers can help us to improve our biological knowledge of the species and better understand the key spawning areas in South Australia,” said Dr Mike Steer, Leader of SARDI’s Finfish Fisheries subprogram.

“This knowledge will help to inform how this important fishery is sustainably managed into the future.”

“We ran this King George Whiting Project in collaboration with RecFish SA for the first time in 2017 and received more than 400 frames from enthusiastic anglers which was a terrific response.

“We hope to build on this enthusiasm in 2018.”

Fishers who catch King George Whiting throughout SA during April 2018 are encouraged to donate their frames.  All King George Whiting frames, including the intact head, body, gut cavity and skeleton, can be donated either fresh or frozen and accompanied with a completed information form.

All participants will automatically enter a competition run by RecFish SA for a chance to win prizes, including a charter boat trip, a selection of quality Mustard fishing gear, and two Shimano fishing reels.

“King George Whiting is a very popular target for South Australian recreational fishers, during this time of the year.  The frames from any King George Whiting caught ahead of the annual closure on May 1 will be greatly appreciated,” said Dr Steer.

“This can be a win-win for the dinner table and science.”

Recreational commercial fishers are reminded that the King George Whiting spawning spatial closure will commence Monday 1 May until Thursday 31 May. The closure, put in place to protect the species during its breeding season, includes an area spanning southern Spencer Gulf, southern Gulf St Vincent and Investigator Strait (PDF 403.0 KB). During the closure the taking, targeting and possession of King George Whiting by all fishing sectors is prohibited in the closure area.

To participate in the King George Whiting project, or for further information, visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/kgwresearch

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