Ban on ‘opera house’ nets, to save wildlife

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News -

ALL ‘opera house’ nets, his­tor­i­cally used to tar­get yab­bies, will be banned from all Vic­to­rian pub­lic and pri­vate wa­ter­ways from July 1 next year.

The State Gov­ern­ment con­firmed the ban this week, say­ing new, top lift­ing nets are now more read­ily avail­able to re­place the haz­ardous nets.

“Opera house nets have been plac­ing our platy­pus pop­u­la­tion at risk, and so it is time for us to em­brace dif­fer­ent fish­ing gear that will catch just as many yab­bies, with­out im­pact­ing our pre­cious wildlife,” said Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Jaala Pul­ford.

She said the Vic­to­rian Fish­eries Au­thor­ity will work with the fish­ing tackle sec­tor, an­glers and en­vi­ron­men­tal groups on an aware­ness cam­paign around ‘wildlife friendly’ yabby gear.

The gov­ern­ment said tri­als have in­di­cated that wildlife friendly gear such as open top lift nets and hoop nets, can in fact, catch more yab­bies than the en­vi­ron­men­tally ex­pen­sive ‘opera house’ nets.

As part of the changes, a one-for-one-trade-in is planned, whereby an­glers are af­forded a mora­to­rium on the al­ready il­le­gal ‘opera house ‘nets, for free ‘wildlife friendly’ open top nets.

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