The electric blue swordfish that has been visiting Port Coogee Marina over the past week now has fishing line tangled around its tail, possibly due to members of the public trying to catch the migratory species.
The City of Cockburn has reminded marina visitors that the area is a No Fishing Zone which is policed by the City and the Department of Primary industries and Regional Development’s Fisheries unit.
Cockburn Environment Manager Chris Beaton said the fish was stressed due to the fishing line and hooks dragging behind it and warned there were hefty fines for people caught doing the wrong thing.
He said the City was investigating ways to remove the hooks and line from the fish, which is believed to be a 2m long juvenile or sub-adult.
“We are not sure why this oceanic species is sheltering in the shallows but it needs our protection at the very least and trying to catch it is not only illegal at this site, but unwarranted,” Mr Beaton said.
“There are plenty of fishing spots along our coast and plenty of good eating fish for all.”
The swordfish is believed to be a Broadbill (Xiphias gladius), found throughout the world including in Perth’s deeper offshore waters beyond the Continental Shelf.
“It is one of the most widely distributed species of oceanic fish in the world because it can tolerate a wide range of seawater temperatures, from five to 27 degrees Celsius.
“The species is oceanic but can sometimes be found in coastal waters, making its appearance quite unique, with most people unlikely to encounter the species so closely,” Mr Beaton said.
Report illegal fishing around the marina, and at the nearby Coogee Maritime (dive) Trail, to the Department of Industries and Regional Development’s FishWatch hotline on 1800 815 507.
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