Illegal fish­ing traps a con­cern for depart­ment

Pilbara News - - News -

Illegal use of traps is an in­creas­ing is­sue in the Kim­ber­ley and Pil­bara re­gions, the Depart­ment of Fish­eries says.

Fish­eries com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer Dy­lan Pross said it was ap­par­ent the depart­ment needed to con­tinue rais­ing aware­ness about why such traps were illegal.

“If lost, traps can con­tinue to ghost fish — catch­ing fish long af­ter they have been lost, whereas drop nets, the le­gal al­ter­na­tive, need to be ac­tively fished and phys­i­cally pulled in or­der to get your catch,” he said.

“The depart­ment works closely with re­tail­ers and whole­salers who can as­sist with ed­u­ca­tion at the point of sale and pass on in­for­ma­tion that these traps can’t be used in any WA wa­ters ex­cept Lake Ku­nunurra for red­claw.”

Mr Pross said drop nets were le­gal, but must be no wider than 1.5m in di­am­e­ter and a max­i­mum of 10 drop nets per per­son or 10 drop nets per boat could be used.

Other al­ter­na­tives for catch­ing mud crabs in­clude by hand, scoop nets or us­ing a blunt wire hook that is not ca­pa­ble of pierc­ing the shell.

Fish­ers ob­serv­ing illegal fish­ing ac­tiv­ity can re­port it by phon­ing 1800 815 507.

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