The first 100 of 500 juvenile barramundi were released into Broome waters last week, with a restocking initiative by Kimberley Training Institute and Rec- FishWest taking place at Willie Creek.
The restocking project follows in the footsteps of similar ventures in Dampier Creek and Lake Kununurra, with the goal of boosting the numbers of barramundi in their natural habitat and learning more about the animals’ habits.
The fish have been bred at KTI’s Broome Aquaculture Centre, are one year old and average 35cm in length.
All released fish have been visibly tagged, with fishers encouraged to contact the Broome Aquaculture Centre if the juveniles are caught.
This will help aquaculture experts improve their understanding of the iconic Kimberley species in terms of growth, movement patterns and numbers.
The legal limit for catching barramundi for recreational fishers is between 55cm and 80cm, and it is estimated that the released fish will reach legal size by the 2014 wet season.
Minister of Fisheries Troy Buswell made the trip to Broome for the release, and was joined by RecFishWest chief executive Andrew Rowland and KTI portfolio manager Jeff Cooper.
Minister Buswell said the initiative was vital and predicted it would be a real success.
“The release of these fish is integral so that recreational fishers in the North West can enjoy their pastime in a sustainable way,” he said.
“Initiatives like this provide tremendous value for recreational fishers and are very important for the future of the species in this region.”
Recreational fishers that catch one of the newly released barramundi are urged to contact the Broome Aquaculture Centre on 9192 9141.
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