‘Cruel’ nets banned in private dams

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Platypus caught in a yabby net. Photo: Molonglo Catchment Group

THE existing ban on enclosed yabby nets will be extended from public waters to all private waters including dams, says Environment Minister Mick Gentleman. 

Mr Gentleman says the ban on enclosed yabby nets including “opera house” style traps will be banned in all ACT waterways to help protect platypus and other native wildlife such as Murray River crayfish.

“Platypus can easily become trapped in the nets when looking for food and have less than three minutes to escape before drowning,” he says.

The ban is among changes to the “Fisheries Act 2000” passed in the Legislative Assembly today (September 17), which Mr Gentleman says was put in place protect native fish and wildlife in years to come and ensure that the ACT remains a great place for fishing activities.

“The new laws will also improve enforcement and guide management of commercial fish production as well as live fish trade and transport,” he says.

“The changes include new offences for damaging or disturbing aquatic habitats such as snags and rock formations.

“There will be limits to the amount of fish anglers may have in their possession at any one time and stronger penalties for illegal commercial sale of fish and other aquatic species.

“The changes will improve fish farming management in the ACT by regulating the type and number of fish that may be farmed and providing guidelines on issues such as managing disease.

“The bill also allows for changes to the ‘Nature Conservation Act’ to allow certain cultural activities such as fishing by our traditional custodians the Ngunnawal people.”

Now, following the new legislation, Mr Gentleman is calling on his state and territory colleagues to follow the ACT’s lead and outlaw the use of these cruel and unnecessary traps.

“We must also work together to ban the sale of these traps right across Australia,” he says.

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