Call for commercial fishing ban at Lake Illawarra

A GROUP of concerned local fishermen say it’s time something was done about dwindling fish populations in Lake Illawarra on the NSW South Coast.

According to the ABC, the region’s anglers blame commercial fishing for the lack of fish and have started a petition calling on the government to buy back the 34 licences that cover the lake.

Andrew Connor says he’s been fishing at Windang and on the lake for 26 years but in recent years catches of bream, whiting and tailor have become almost non-existent.

“What we believe is commercial fishing is you know basically cutting out the juvenile fish plus the mature fish,” he said.

“And instead of replenishing the lake with fish coming through stages, it’s just been knocked about so hard that the fish stock aren’t rebounding to the stage where they should be in such a pristine waterway.”

But a Lake Illawarra commercial fisherman says low fish stocks at the moment are part of a natural cycle and not evidence of over-fishing.

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