Fishers back new Cod limit
Wednesday, 24th July, 2013
By Darrin Manuel
The West Darling Fishing Club (WDFC) has used a review of fishing rules to call for greater protection of the Murray Cod.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries is reviewing recreational saltwater and freshwater fishing rules in an effort to better manage the country’s fish stocks for future generations. It is the first such review of fishing rules since 2007.
Severe overfishing, river regulation and habitat degradation have severely damaged many of Australia’s native fish species, including the Murray Cod which is now listed as critically endangered.
The WDFC has strongly supported a move to reduce the bag limit of cod from two to one, and the possession limit from four to two.
It has also backed a catch and release program for all cod caught over 80cm, and a limit of one cod per person during the closed season.
WDFC Secretary, Malcolm Hanley, said the club had also pushed for less specific information on yabbie nets.
Mr Hanley said current rules, which require nets to be marked with the owner’s name and home address, could make fishers easy targets for thieves.
“People can be going along in a boat and they can see your exact address and know that you’re not home,” he said.
Under the supported new rule, nets would only be marked with the owner’s initial and surname, date of birth and postcode.
Other changes supported by the club included an increase in bait traps from one to two, and a more sensible approach to what can be taken from yabby and shrimp traps.
Current legislation oddly stipulates that fishers may not keep any shrimp caught in yabby traps, while any yabbies that wander into a shrimp trap must also be released.
Anyone wishing to have their say on fishing rules are encouraged to fill out a submission form at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/nswfishreview2013.
Submissions must be completed by July 31.