NSW Government is giving away 5,000 yabby nets to recreational fishers as part of a comprehensive program to phase out the use of enclosed yabby traps in NSW from April 30, 2021.
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said the government has been transitioning to open-top nets for some time, due to the risk that enclosed yabby traps can pose to native wildlife.
"We know that 'opera house' style yabby traps pose a risk to air breathing animals such as platypus, water rats and turtles, which can inadvertently get caught in traps," Mr Marshall said.
"Open top nets allow mammals to exit through the top, unlike opera house traps which only have openings on the sides.
"By moving away from 'opera' style traps to open-top yabby nets, we will allow both our fishing resources and native animal populations to flourish."
Mr Marshall said the changes are part of a National process, with 'opera' style traps having already been phased out in the ACT, Victoria and NSW waters where platypus are mostly abundant.
"These changes have been implemented following consultation with and support from the NSW Recreational Fishing Advisory Council and we want to give fishers has much time as possible to make sure that they're aware of the new rules and ensure they have the right equipment," Mr Marshall said.
To assist with this transition, the Department of Primary Industries are giving away 5,000 open-top nets. To collect a free open-top yabby net, please phone (02) 6051 7760.
More information about the recreational fishing rule changes are available online at www.fisheries.nsw.gov.au, or by contacting your local NSW DPI Fisheries office.