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Monday, May 29, 2023

Fishing net ban to protect South Australia’s platypuses

Seoul, April 23 (IANS) The state of South Australia (SA) has announced a ban on a popular type of fishing net to protect platypuses and turtles.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) recently said SA will become the fifth state or territory to ban the use of opera house nets for recreational and commercial fishers from July 1.

Used to catch yabbies — a common freshwater crustacean — the funnel-shaped nets are harmful to non-target species.

Gavin Begg, the executive director of PIRSA, said the move to ban the nets would protect air-breathing animals such as native water rats, freshwater turtles and the iconic platypus.

Anglers have widely welcomed the decision to ban the controversial nets but have expressed concerns about how existing nets will be disposed of.

Asher Dezsery, executive officer of RecFish SA, said the industry was hoping for a plan from the government to phase out the nets sustainably.

In 2022, BCF — one of Australia’s largest retailers of outdoor clothing and equipment — announced it would withdraw opera house nets from sale after platypus deaths.

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