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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Free yabby net swap program protects local wildlife

Following a ban on “opera house” yabby nets last September, the ACT Government has introduced a new initiative for yabby fishers to swap their old “destructive” nets for new, free, wildlife-friendly nets.

ACT Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Mick Gentleman, said opera house style traps can trap native wildlife, especially the platypus and Murray River Crayfish, in the nets where they can suffocate.

“I’ve banned these enclosed yabby traps in the ACT to help protect our unique native wildlife. Platypus can easily become trapped in the nets when looking for food and have less than three minutes to escape before drowning,” Mr Gentleman said.

“The ACT Government is funding the Yabby Net Swap Program to give local anglers a chance to swap their harmful old traps for new open top nets, which catch just as many yabbies without harming native wildlife.

“The existing ban on enclosed yabby nets has been extended from public waters to all private waters including private dams.

“The ban is one of many improvements to the Fisheries Act 2000 to better protect our native fish while maintaining ACT as a great place for fishing activities.”

Tackle World Canberra manager Antony Pezzella said he was happy to be part of the ACT Government’s program.

 “We’re really glad we can help out with the Yabby Net Swap Program and help our customers protect the ACT’s native wildlife while continuing to enjoy fishing for yabbies,” Mr Pezzella said.

Mr Gentleman has previously called on the rest of Australia to implement a ban on opera house yabby traps, to protect native animals.

“My state and federal colleagues have agreed with the ACT Government’s recommended approach to working together to remove these traps from our nation’s waterways,” Mr Gentlemen said in a statement, after he attended the Meeting of Environment Ministers on last November.

For more information about the Yabby Net Swap Program and improvements to the ACT’s fishing laws, visit www.yoursay.act.gov.au/fish/fisheries-act-review

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