The fishing industry in the Kimberley includes catches of wild stocks and an aquaculture industry dominated by
pearling. The principal fisheries in the Region focus on finfish, particularly the high – value emperors, snappers and cods. The Region has a number of limited-entry trawl fisheries for prawns. There are also significant fisheries for Spanish mackerel, barramundi, threadfin salmon and shark. In addition, species, such as barramundi, tropical emperors, sea perches, mangrove jacks, trevallies, sooty grunter, threadfin, mud crabs and cod can be found in the creek systems, mangroves, rivers and beach areas.
The total estimated catch in the Kimberley region was 1,679 tonnes valued at $9.8 million. Prawns were valued at an estimated $1.8 million.
The total value of aquaculture in the Kimberley for 2009/10 was $67 million. Pearling is an historic industry operating out of Broome with pearl farms along the Kimberley coast. The Kimberley pearl industry peaked at $91.5 million in 2005-06 and 2006-07, but declined to an estimated $64.1 million in 2009-10.
Salt water barramundi are successfully farmed at Cone Bay in the Buccaneer Archipelago. Grown out from fingerlings in sea cages, the product provides both quality and support for the domestic and international markets.
Fishing data can be found on the Commission’s Kimberley Statistics page.