- Better Choice
- Western Australian salmon are caught in beach haul and purse seine net fisheries across southern and southwestern Australia.
- Western Australian salmon populations caught in WA and SA are in a healthy condition, with recent commercial fishing pressure much lower than historic levels.
- The same population of Australian salmon is caught in WA and SA.
- The net fishing methods used to catch Western Australian salmon are likely to have minimal impact on threatened species, although there is some concern over the adequacy of reporting and minimal independent observer coverage.
- These fishing methods do not impact vulnerable or sensitive habitats, being deployed from sandy ocean beaches (in beach haul net fishing) or at the ocean surface (in purse seine fishing) in a way that does not contact the seafloor.
Aussie salmon is an often unfairly criticised fish that is affordable and delicious. Ensure the fish has bright eyes, a nice sheen and bright-red gills (this indicates freshness and good handling). Very fresh fish that have been iced and treated with care can be served raw or cured. Just thinly slice and serve as sashimi! This fish is also excellent barbecued or smoked, just crisp the skin and serve the moist, oily and full-flavoured flesh. Suits bold Mediterranean flavours such as tomato, roast peppers, olives and fresh herbs. Whole fish or fillets can also be lightly oiled and baked in a hot oven for juicy, pull-apart results.
- WA Marine Scalefish Fishery (75t in 2020)
- WA South Coast Salmon Managed Fishery and South West Coast Salmon Managed Fishery (SWCSMF) (97t in 2020)
Western Australian salmon is a fast-growing species caught in many commercial and recreational fisheries around southern and southwestern Australia, with the highest catches in WA and SA. They are a distinct species from Eastern Australian salmon caught in NSW and Victoria; and are not a true ‘salmon’ at all, though have a generally similar size and body shape. They are regularly confused with the very different Atlantic salmon that is farmed in Australia.
A single Western Australian salmon population is fished commercially between WA and SA, though the fisheries are not managed in collaboration between the two jurisdictions. Stock health is assessed using different methods in the two States, and indicators of fish stock health in all fisheries are positive. Commercial fishing pressure has been significantly lower in recent years than historic levels, such that Western Australian salmon are relatively abundant. Better science-based stock assessment practices recently introduced in WA are welcomed.
Western Australian salmon is caught primarily using haul nets fished directly off ocean beaches, and by purse seine nets in deeper coastal waters. These fishing methods generally have a low rate of threatened species catch, because they are highly targeted at visually identified Western Australian salmon schools; and because these methods facilitate the release of any bycatch species without serious harm. There is some concern over the adequacy of reporting of interactions with threatened species, with minimal independent observer verification of fisher reports.
The net fishing methods used to catch Western Australian salmon are fished over highly dynamic and resilient nearshore sandy habitats (in beach haul net fishing) or in a way that minimally contacts the seafloor (in purse seine fishing); such that they cause little lasting impact to habitats.