New recreational catch rules announced last week include regulations to better protect the state's freshwater yabbies.By Sophie Malcolm
Victoria’s freshwater yabbies will be better protected under new recreational catch rules announced last week.
Regulations including protection for female yabbies carrying eggs, tighter controls on the catch of small yabbies for bait and net-use rules are now in place.
Victorian Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh announced the new rules in Shepparton last Thursday.
Mr Walsh said they were designed to ensure people could continue to catch yabbies and avoid harm to other animals.
‘‘The government has taken a commonsense approach to regulate for the use of a new net design that is widely available in many fishing tackle shops, and which has already been legal in NSW for several years,’’ Mr Walsh said.
He said opera house nets would remain prohibited in public waters, but could be used in private waters, and hoop nets would continue to be permitted.
‘‘Scientific studies by the Department of Primary Industries, with assistance from the Australian Platypus Conservancy, show that the new open-top pyramid net provides comparable catch rates to other yabby nets, but with a significantly lower likelihood of catching other wildlife such as platypus,’’ Mr Walsh said.
‘‘Keeping berried female yabbies — those carrying eggs on the underside of the tail — is now prohibited across the state for the first time, which is consistent with other freshwater crayfish regulations.’’
He said bag limits for yabbies had also changed.
‘‘The daily bag limit for whole yabbies has been adjusted from 30
‘‘These changes are intended to limit the number of small yabbies that can be taken and sold illegally as bait, while allowing for the vast majority of fishers who comply with the law to continue to enjoy catching and eating yabbies.’’
To find out more visit www.dpi.vic.gov.au/fisheries
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