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More yabby nets arrive for free swap

by Sarah C Hetherington (DEDJTR) 24 Oct 2018 22:33 UTC

Recreational anglers are being encouraged once again to swap their opera house yabby nets for free wildlife friendly open-top lift nets at any one of 60 tackle shops that have just received their second delivery.

Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) CEO Travis Dowling said there was an incredibly positive response from anglers in September to the first offer that saw 4,000 nets swapped in only a few weeks.

"Some tackle shops ran out of stock in days given the overwhelming support for the program and widespread willingness to embrace wildlife friendly ways of yabby fishing," Mr Dowling said.

"Our second delivery of 6,000 nets has now arrived with tackle shops so we're keen for anglers who missed the first offer to return and swap over up to three opera house nets for three opentop lift nets.

"The yabby net swap program is raising awareness of the impending ban on opera house nets in all waters, public and private, from 1 July 2019 and is funded by the State Government's Target One Million plan, which is investing a record $46 million to get more people fishing, more often.

"Open-top nets are permitted in public and private waters, so the rule change next year will make it simpler for fishers who will be able to use the same nets regardless of location.

"Opera house nets are associated with drowning wildlife such as platypus, turtles and native water rats, which can be avoided entirely if open-top nets are used instead.

"Unlike opera house nets, open-top nets feature a gap at their top, which enables air-breathing animals such as turtles to escape.

"Research shows open-top lift nets are very effective at catching yabbies when compared to opera house nets.

"A limited numbers of open-top lift nets will also be available at selected VFA regional events and handed out by Fisheries Officers on patrol in northern Victoria."

Mr Dowling encouraged anglers to first contact participating stores before dropping in because this second delivery is expected to go like hotcakes. We have ordered another 10,000 nets given demand, which are expected to arrive in early December.

Learn more, including where to find participating tackle stores, at vfa.vic.gov.au/yabbynetswap.

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