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Author Topic: Changes to freshwater traps and set lines  (Read 2231 times)

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Changes to freshwater traps and set lines
« on: September 16, 2014, 01:06:16 AM »
Changes to freshwater traps and set lines

The use of funnel and round traps in Queensland freshwaters is to be restricted by the State Government to minimise their impact on freshwater turtles, platypus and native water rats.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister John McVeigh said processes to amend the regulation concerning funnel and round traps, including opera house traps, were under way.

“I am aware of concerns that certain freshwater trap designs accidentally catch animals like freshwater turtles, platypus and other animals,” Mr McVeigh said.

“The Queensland Government is committed to ensuring the sustainability of our fisheries and welfare of animals which is why we are expediting amendments to the regulation.

“The proposed amendments would prohibit the use of funnel and round traps in any waterway east of the Great Dividing Range and the Gore Highway (Highway 39).  This will only apply to traps with an opening between 5 and 10cm.”

Anglers who use these traps west of the Great Dividing Range and Gore Highway boundary, and in specific impoundments such as Wivenhoe and Somerset dams, will not be affected by the change.

New, open-top pyramid traps will be permitted to be used in all Queensland non-tidal waters and will allow recreational fishers to continue catching yabbies.

The maximum number of traps permitted per angler will remain unchanged at four, alone or in combination with other traps.

Mr McVeigh also announced changes to the use of set lines in Queensland freshwaters.

“Set lines are baited, attached to a fixed object and then left unattended for long periods of time in order to catch fish,” he said.

“The low cost of fishing lines means fishers sometimes abandon their gear leaving the lines in the water which continue to fish (known as ghost fishing).  In some cases, animals such as turtles, platypus and birds can become entangled in the lines and sustain significant injuries or drown.

“The proposed changes will see the set lines banned in Queensland freshwaters and will require anglers to be within 50 metres of other permitted fishing lines at all times.”

Mr McVeigh said the changes would bring Queensland in line with fishing requirements in other eastern states and were expected to come into effect on 1 February 2015.

If you suspect illegal fishing, whether you see it in person or online, report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116. Don’t engage the person, as this can compromise an investigation.

[ENDS] 12 September 2014

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