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Fishers to Embrace Wildlife Friendly Yabby Nets

Victorian fishers are encouraged to embrace the change to wildlife friendly, open top lift yabby nets as the ban on enclosed, opera-house nets extends to all waterways on Monday 1 July 2019.

Enclosed yabby nets are already banned in all public waterways across Victoria and from 1 July 2019 the ban will extend to include private waterways.

Enclosed yabby nets have a significant impact on our air-breathing wildlife, including platypus, turtles and water rats.  The β€˜set and forget’ nets often trap and kill animals. Far too often we see heartbreaking images of our iconic platypus dead after getting trapped in an enclosed net.

As the enclosed traps were readily available in tackle and department stores, many Victorians have purchased the traps unaware that they are illegal to use in public waterways. The change aims to simplify the rules for recreational fishers. Open top lift nets can legally be used in all Victorian waters (both public and private).

Last year, many large retailers ceased selling enclosed yabby traps both in-store and online completely or in Australian states where the gear is illegal in public waterways.

Research by the Victorian Government in 2012 found that wildlife friendly pyramid nets caught more yabbies than enclosed, opera house nets when left baited in the water for up to 1 hour.

Between December 2018 and February 2019, more than 23,000 enclosed nets were surrendered by Victorians through the Victorian Fisheries Authority ‘Yabby Net Swap Program.’ The VFA are exploring options to repurpose or recycle the surrendered nets.

For more information on the changes to yabby fishing gear or the rules regarding yabby catch methods and limits visit the linked Victorian Fisheries Authority web pages.

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