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More protection for Stingrays, Skates and Banjos

by Caroline Potter on 2 Nov 2017
Stingray Study in Cayman Islands - Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show John Bell
The Andrews Labor Government is better protecting stingrays, skates and guitarfish or ‘banjo sharks’ in Victoria.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford announced in Parliament today that from 7 November, recreational fishing rules will be strengthened to ensure these beautiful animals are treated with respect.

The new rules are the product of extensive public consultation during winter, which attracted almost 1200 submissions – the vast majority of which supported increased protection for these species.

The new rules will:

• Prohibit the take or possession of stingrays, skates or guitarfish greater than 1.5 metres in wide
• Reduce the combined daily bag limit for rays, skates and guitarfish less than 1.5 metres wide from 5 to 1
• Prohibit the take of these species within 400 metres of any pier, jetty, wharf or breakwater
• Require these species to be landed whole so they can be measured by Fisheries Officers.

To support the introduction of the new rules this spring, dedicated Victorian Fisheries Authority officers will undertake Operation Liberty to educate anglers on the water and encourage responsible fishing.

More signage will be erected on piers around Port Phillip, Western Port and along Victoria’s coast to raise awareness amongst the fishing community, promote the new rules and illustrate good handling practises.

Existing fishing regulations will continue to require anglers to return unwanted or undersize species to the water with the least possible injury.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford

“We have listened to passionate stakeholders on this issue, including the Project Banjo Action Group, and made significant changes to fishing rules to address their concerns.”

“We recognise the need to inform beginners and expert anglers alike about the new rules, which is why a dedicated education and enforcement effort will be delivered through spring and summer.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville

“It's important that we protect our oceans, reefs and creatures that inhabit them - these gentle giants are iconic to our coastal towns in the Bellarine.'

'These sea creatures are appreciated by families and locals, attract tourists to jetties and are appreciated by divers who marvel at their underwater grace.”
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