Posted on: November 27, 2012
The common blowfish is often regarded as a nuisance to fishers, gobbling bait before any other species can get near it. However, these fish are native to Western Australia (and therefore are not pests) and play an important role in keeping our marine ecosystems clean by eating waste bait and berley.
Common blowfish are found along the lower west coast of WA but also have a northern relative. The northwest blowfish inhabits northern Australian waters but is also occasionally seen off the lower west coast as far south as Cape Naturaliste. Northwest blowfish are significantly larger than the common blowfish, reaching a maximum of 88 cm in length, compared to the common blowfish at 22 cm.
Both species of blowfish contain a highly lethal toxin so they are not generally targeted by fishers– however they still have a bag limit. Visit the Department of Fisheries website to find out more about bag and size limits in your area. To learn more about other ways we manage recreational fisheries in Western Australia, see the Marine WATERs lesson plan: Fishing for the Future.
Fishers are reminded not to leave blowfish to die on beaches and jetties as pets have died from eating them.
Want to know more about this species or of the many other species found in Western Australia? See our extensive range of fact sheets.