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Author Topic: Platypus dies in opera house net  (Read 2813 times)

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Platypus dies in opera house net
« on: January 07, 2014, 09:47:54 AM »
Platypus dies in opera house net

6 January 2014 - Victoria DEPI

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is reminding holiday makers and recreational anglers that it is illegal to use opera house nets in public waterways, after a platypus was recently found dead with injuries caused by a homemade opera house-style net.

The death of the platypus was reported by a member of the public at Seninis camping ground in Moondarra State Park, north of Tyers.

Team Leader Wildlife Management and Compliance, Charlie Franken said: "When DEPI staff were alerted they were devastated to find that it was a young female platypus in the prime of her life."

"What is particularly concerning is that many of the nets and platypus deaths go unreported and therefore unnoticed, so we are grateful to the person who let us know about this incident," Mr Franken said.

"In Victoria, opera house nets may only be used in private waters such as farm dams. People can still catch yabbies or freshwater crayfish with hoop nets, which are far safer for platypus."

"We want to deter lazy fishing practices and selfish use of illegal nets. Trapping protected native wildlife such as a platypus is a serious offence and will result in prosecution."

"Under the Fisheries Act 1995, offenders detected, possessing or using an opera house net in or close to inland waters can be issued with a penalty infringement notice of $289 or charged under summons to appear in court and face a maximum fine of $1,443."

"Trapping protected native wildlife such as a platypus is a serious offence and anyone found doing so faces the risk of criminal conviction following a prosecution in court."

"Under the Wildlife Act 1975, the maximum penalty for destroying a platypus is $7,218 and/or six months imprisonment, plus an additional penalty of $721 for each specimen killed."

"These incidents are devastating when most of us realise how privileged we are to share our waterways with this protected species."

Members of the public are encouraged to report the illegal use of opera house nets by calling DEPI on 136 186.

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