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DPI Newscast Newsletter - May 2021

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an information bulletin for recreational fishers


May 2021

Reminder about rule changes for Yabby Traps and Blue Swimmer Crab Size Limit

A reminder that recreational fishing rules relating to the use of ‘Opera House’ style yabby traps came into effect last week from Friday 30 April 2021.  

The rule change provides greater protection for air breathing native wildlife, such as water rats, platypus, birds and turtles, which can inadvertently get caught in traps whilst foraging for food and drown.  

In 2003, opera house style yabby traps were prohibited in areas where platypus are mostly found; those waters east of the Newell Highway and in some stretches of the Murray, Edward and Murrumbidgee Rivers west of the Newell Highway.  

This rule change prohibits the use of opera house yabby traps by recreational fishers in the remaining waters of NSW.  

In recent months DPI Fisheries implemented a giveaway program involving the distribution of 5,000 pyramid lift nets to help transition anglers to these new nets. These nets proved very popular!  

Recreational fishers are also reminded the size limit (carapace length) for Blue Swimmer Crab (carapace length) increased from 6 cm to 6.5 cm for recreational fishers on 30 April 2021 to help assist with protecting spawning crabs and to improve the productivity of the stock through time.


More Flathead Stockings!

Check out this short video for some behind-the-scenes action during the recent stockings of a juvenile dusky flathead at the Lake Conjola, St Georges Basin and Burrill Lake Recreational Fishing Havens.  

This is a great example of your fishing fees at work!


Expression of Interest - Next Offshore Artificial Reef Location

The next set of Offshore Artificial Reefs could soon be located off a local coastline near you! These reefs create unique habitats for fish and aquatic organisms and are designed for recreational fishing.

Nominations are now open for the locations of the next Offshore Artificial Reefs. To have your say, complete this survey before 17 June. Fishing clubs, organisations and the broader recreational fishing community are all invited to come forward with suggestions. 

New reefs in Batemans Bay and Jervis Bay will be completed in 2021 and 2022 respectively, adding to those already installed off Sydney, South Sydney, the Shoalhaven, Port Macquarie, Merimbula, Newcastle, Wollongong and Tweed Heads. 

For more information on Offshore Artificial Reefs in NSW or the expression of interest, visit the DPI website.


Another Tuna Travel Tale

Previously we reported on a long-term yellowfin tuna recapture. The Game Fish Tagging Program has recently received information about another incredible tuna recapture.   

An albacore tuna released by Eden Game Fishing Club boat, Sea Mode, has just been recaptured, offshore of New Caledonia in the Coral Sea! The fish was originally measured at 60cm and estimated to be 4kg when it was tagged by Ross Cooper whilst fishing offshore of Merimbula, NSW, on 10 June 2017.  

The fish was recaptured on 5 February 2021 by a New Caledonian commercial vessel that was fishing north of the Chesterfield Isles in the outer Coral Sea. The skipper of the vessel kept the fish aside for Caroline Sanchez, a fisheries researcher that works for the Oceanic Fisheries Program of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. The details of the recapture were then forwarded to the program. Upon recapture the fish measured 99cm fork length and 20.7kg highlighting some solid growth rates!  Additionally, Caroline also took otoliths, muscle samples and gonads from this fish as part of her ongoing research into tuna species. 

After 1336 days at liberty the albacore was recaptured some 1230 nautical miles (~2275km) from where it was originally tagged.  

 The Game Fish Tagging Program is a great example of your fishing fees at work! 


Action to Rebuild Mulloway Stock

DPI in collaboration with recreational and commercial fishers will soon start work on a harvest strategy for mulloway. The focus will be on rebuilding the stock of this iconic species.  

Harvest strategies are a best-practice tool for fisheries management used around the world. Fishers, scientists and managers will come together to agree on objectives for mulloway fishing in NSW, and identify what data and scientific assessment is required to inform suitable management actions that will be taken in different circumstances. 

For more info: https://bit.ly/2QClFlR 

EOI Information Package – Mulloway Harvest Strategy Working Group 


We want your Mackerel Frames!

During the tail end of the Mackerel season on the North Coast, the Research Angler Program is keen to collect your Spanish and Spotted Mackerel frames!  

It’s easy to participate and you can drop the frames (the entire frame or just the head with fish's total length indicated) to one of our participating drop-off locations.  

The fish don't need to be trophy specimens as we are looking for all size classes. Data collected by this program will contribute towards ensuring continued quality recreational fishing opportunities for mackerel and other key species into the future. 

 Each frame donated earns an entry into our monthly lucky angler prize draws.  

Find out more about the RAP, including your closest drop-off location, at https://bit.ly/31laTTW

This is your fishing licence at work! 


Do the Right Thing on Sydney Harbour Wharves

Plenty of great fishing is on offer at Sydney Harbour's fantastic ferry wharves but please do the ‘right thing’ and fish responsibly.   

Remember, the primary purpose of the ferry wharves is to provide safe commuter access to Sydney Harbour ferries. Fishing is a privilege on these wharves so lets respect our access to these locations. 

  • Be respectful to passengers and do not block access 

  • Clear your lines and move aside when ferries approach 

  • Keep the wharves clean.  

  • Dispose of your litter and fish waste 

Thanks in advance to those fishers who are being responsible and appreciating this great opportunity to fish from the ferry wharves.  

Recreational fishing on wharf awareness animation

Don't be a Tosser!

“Don't be a Tosser” is the message from a new marine litter campaign which encourages people to be responsible for their rubbish and to put it in the bin, to prevent it ending up in our waterways. 

Improving water quality and reducing marine litter for the benefit of marine habitats, wildlife and the community is a key initiative under the Marine Estate Management Strategy, which is supporting this campaign.  

It is not only littering on land that affects marine ecosystems and animals. If you are fishing on the water or from land - fishing lines, hooks, empty drink containers, eskys, buckets, bait containers, cigarette butts, pots, traps and plastic bags don’t belong in our waterways.  Please take them home with you and put them in the bin. 

Increasing amounts of litter are ending up in our oceans and harming ecosystems, killing animals when they become trapped in or swallow the litter.  Our health is also at risk as plastics can break down inside marine animals and then end up in our food. 

We can all play a part in reducing marine litter across NSW so lets do our bit! 

 Don't Be A Tosser song - Rage Against The Polystyrene

Download the Free FishSmart App for the Latest Information

Did you know DPI has a free app that provides recreational fishers with 24/7 access to essential info they need to know to fish in NSW, such as a pictorial guide of common recreational species, bag & size limits, closed seasons and fishing gear rules, real-time maps to locate your nearest FADs (Fish Aggregation Devices), artificial reefs, Recreational Fishing Havens and Marine Park Zones, local weather, tide, moon phase and barometric pressure to help choose best time to fish, your very own catch log plus more! 

Download the FishSmart NSW app from Google Play at: http://bit.ly/2hO7jLZ or the iTunes app store at https://appsto.re/au/FY3gbb.i

DPI Hosts 20th International Conference on Shellfish Restoration

The DPI Oyster Reef Restoration Project recently hosted the 20th International Conference on Shellfish Restoration (ICSR) in Nelson Bay. The four-day hybrid event provided an exciting opportunity for nearly 100 delegates to expand the science and practice of shellfish restoration by providing a forum to share ideas and experiences from leaders around the globe.

Shellfish reefs are one of the most impacted marine ecosystems in the world. It has been estimated that 85% have been lost globally and as much as 99% have been impacted in Australia. Efforts to restore shellfish reefs and study these important habitats are growing globally each year. Shellfish reef restoration provides many benefits including improving water quality and increasing ecosystem resilience to climate change. Shellfish reef restoration benefits fishers by restoring important habitat for a variety of fish species, boosting fish populations and enhancing fishing opportunities.

ICSR 2021 included a field trip to the first large-scale oyster reef restoration project in NSW in the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park.

New guidelines to facilitate future reef restoration activities in NSW, with a specific focus on intertidal Sydney rock oyster (Saccostrea glomerata) reef restoration activities were launched at the event. The NSW Shellfish Reef Restoration Project Planning and Implementation Guidelines will be available on the project webpage.

The NSW Oyster Reef Restoration Project is a key action under the Marine Estate Management Strategy. In addition to DPI, ICSR 2021 was supported by the South Australia Department for Environment and Water, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Hunter Local Land Services, Port Stephens Council, Sydney Institute of Marine Science and The Nature Conservancy.


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© State of NSW through Department of Primary Industries 2020. 
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