A new patrol boat in the South West will help authorities enforce new recreational fishing rules which came into effect today.

The $490,000 vessel, named PV Geographe, will also educate people about the newly created Ngari Capes Marine Park.

The park will cover 124,000 hectares of coastal waters from Geographe Bay to Augusta and includes several zones from recreation zones to fully-protected marine sanctuaries that cover a variety of important habitats for unique SW species.

The boat will also be used to ensure fishers obey new rules which reduce the amount of popular types of fish that recreational anglers are allowed to have.

Possession limits for demersal scale fish such as pink snapper, dhufish and baldchin groper will be limited to a mixed daily bag of two in the west coast bioregion—from Black point east of Augusta to the Zuytdorp Cliffs north of Kalbarri.

A mixed bag of five will be allowed in the south coast, Gascoyne and the north coast.

Fisheries Minister Norman Moore said the plan aims to simplify and standardise WA’s fishing rules to make them easier to understand and enforce.

The number of finfish bag limit categories will be cut from 13 to four.

Mr Moore said the 12m-long boat, which was funded from Royalties for Regions money, will be able to travel bigger distances and features state-of-the-art marine communications equipment.

The West Australian

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