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After years of declining mulloway catches in Perth, the iconic species is set to be restocked along the west coast.

Fisheries Minister Norman Moore today announced a $280,000 project that will see 30,000 fingerlings bred in Fremantle and released to boost the numbers of the fish.

Mulloway can be caught in the Swan River and on metropolitan beaches and is highly prized by recreational fishers.

Recfishwest chief executive Andrew Rowland said there was overwhelming anecdotal evidence that mulloway were not returning to the river in the numbers they once did.

“We know that the Swan River is really important as a spawning location for mulloway and the juvenile mulloway would grow up in the Swan River and then go out and repopulate the coastal adjacent,” he said.

“That just doesn’t seem to be happening.”

Dr Rowland said he would like to see mulloway stocked into the river but genetic research would determine where the fish could be released.

“The lower west coast, the northern metropolitan beaches, the South West region into Geographe Bay were once all very popular for catching mulloway and we’d love to see them go back into those areas,” he said.

The released fish will be marked with a dyed otolith, a small bone with a fish’s inner ear.

The project follows the announcement in November that prawns would be restocked in the Swan and Canning rivers.

Mr Moore said money had also been allocated to research the restocking of black bream.