• Hannah Phillips

Opera House Nets to be Banned in Victoria

Opera house yabby nets will be banned in all public and private waters throughout Victoria, from July 1 of next year, as reforms to protect native animals that live in and around waterways, including platypuses and turtles are introduced.

Image Source - Fishing Wholesalers

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford said opera house nets in Victoria will be phased out with new open top lift nets now more readily available to replace them.

“Opera house nets have been placing our platypus population at risk and so its time for us to embrace different fishing gear that will catch just as many yabbies without impacting our precious wildlife," she said.

Up until now, many fishers who purchased opera house nets to target yabbies were unaware they couldn’t be used in public waters in Victoria.

Open top lift nets can be used in both public and private waters and are proven to be effective yabby catchers.

“When these alternative nets are set for one hour, lifted and reset they can catch a lot of yabbies," Minister Pulford said.

As part of the changes, a one-for-one trade-in is planned, whereby fishers can trade in their old opera house nets for free ‘wildlife friendly’ open top lift nets.

Trials have indicated that wildlife friendly gear such as open top lift nets and hoop nets can catch more yabbies than opera house nets when fished actively.

The Victorian Fisheries Authority will work with the fishing tackle sector, anglers and environmental groups on an awareness campaign around ‘wildlife friendly’ yabby gear leading up to July 1 next year.