Local fishers encouraged to round up yabby traps

News article |

Recreational fishers from across the Eyre Peninsula will have the chance to swap their newly banned opera house yabby traps for a pyramid trap at the upcoming Yabby Trap Round-Up in Port Lincoln.

An initiative of OceanEarth Foundation, through its Ghostnets Australia program, in collaboration with OzFish Unlimited, RecFish SA and Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board, is helping the recreational fishing community participate in protecting the future of fishing and the health of the area’s local waterways.

“Fishers are part of the fabric of the Eyre Peninsula and for many it’s more than just catching a feed - it’s a way of life,” explained Anissa Lawrence, Managing Director, OceanEarth Foundation.

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

Ms Lawrence added: “This is a very exciting and innovative program, as the opera house traps collected at the Eyre Peninsula Yabby Trap Round-Up will be recycled into useful fishing products, with the proceeds being used to support habitat restoration.

“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 swap it for a wildlife-friendly pyramid trap.”

Local fishers encouraged to round up yabby traps

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 SA. Alternative devices, such as open-top pyramid nets and hoop nets, are a more environmentally friendly design, allowing non-target species to escape if they swim in.

“Yabby fishing is winding down at this time of year, 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 pyramid trap.

“The modern pyramid and hoop nets are fun to use, especially for the kids, as they encourage active yabby fishing rather than set and forget.”

“Fishos can further help by separating the nets from the frames before they arrive to help streamline the recycling process. Instructions of how to do this is on the OzFish website,” Ms Price said.

"We are committed to responsible yabby fishing and supporting the fishing community in adopting these practices," explained Ben Smith, Team Leader, Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board.

"The Yabby Trap Round-Up is a great example of the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board working with the local community to encourage more sustainable approaches, which provide great outcomes for native wildlife too,” Mr Smith said.

Yabby Trap Round-Up
Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board
86 Tasman Terrace, Port Lincoln
18-20 June 2024 ,10am to 3pm

Local fishers encouraged to round up yabby traps
A blue swimmer crab. Credit: Simon Bryars

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