Sun. May 26th, 2024

Recreational fishers will have the chance to swap their old and unwanted opera house yabby traps for an Oar-Gee Plow lure at AgQuip to support sustainable fishing practices.

The yabby trap swap is an initiative by TierraMar, through its Ghostnets Australia program, in collaboration with OzFish Unlimited and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI). The popularity of yabby fishing has put pressure on native wildlife which can unwittingly get caught inside opera house traps. These traps are now illegal in NSW. The opera house traps collected will be recycled into useful products for fishers, with the proceeds being used to support habitat restoration.

“Fishers are part of the fabric of our community and for many it’s more than just catching a feed – it’s a way of life,” explained Anissa Lawrence, Managing Director of TierraMar.

“This is why we’re encouraging them and their families to show up for the waterways they love.”

“By bringing in your old traps, you’re not just adopting more sustainable fishing practices, you’re investing in the future of fishing, and the ongoing health of our waterways. And as a thank you, we’ll give you a new Oar-Gee lure.”

For those wondering how to catch yabbies without their traps, it is recommended you use open-top pyramid and hoop nets, which are a more environmentally friendly design, allowing non-target species to escape if they swim in while being effective at catching a feed of tasty yabbies.

“Yabby fishing really gets going in the summer so now is the perfect time to update your gear and rather than have it go to landfill, give it another life,” said Cassie Price, Director of Habitat Programs at OzFish.

“We know there are loads of rec fishers who have old opera house traps stored in their garage or shed.”

“Rather than simply throw them out, we’re encouraging anyone with old traps to come and drop them in for recycling and get a free Aussie-made lure.”

“The modern open-top nets are fun to use, especially for the kids, as they encourage active yabby fishing rather than set and forget. And they’re friendly to other animals too.”

“By using pyramid or hoop nets you’re swapping out your outdated gear, and in the process keeping your local waterway healthy and thriving, now and for the next generation.”

Sean Sloan, Deputy Director General Fisheries, NSW DPI, said the state has taken the lead by promoting responsible yabby fishing.

“This yabby trap swap initiative is a fantastic example of NSW DPI working with recreational fishers and community organisations to encourage sustainable fishing with the added benefit being great outcomes for our unique native fauna,” he said.

For New Englanders, the best opportunity to swap your old yabby trap will be at AgQuip next month. The full list of drop-off events is:

  • Wauchope (4-6 Aug) Mid North Coast Caravan, Camping, 4WD, Fish & Boat Show
  • Gunnedah (22-24 Aug) AgQuip Field Day
  • Dubbo (15-17 Sep) Orana Caravan, Camping, 4WD, Fish and Boat Show
  • Wagga Wagga (Feb 2024) Lifestyle and Leisure Expo
  • Orange (Mar 2024) Central West Caravan & Camping Outdoor Expo.

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