Croc deaths prompt renewed calls for netting ban

THE Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the Northern Territory (AFANT) has called on government and the commercial fishing industry to remove barramundi nets from rivers across the Territory.

AFANT President Warren de With said, “the evidence is clear; barra nets have no place in our river systems which has again been highlighted by the pictures from the East Alligator River that show dead crocodiles in commercial barramundi fishing nets.”

“The removal of barramundi netting from river systems in the 1980s was one of the key drivers to improving the sustainability of the barramundi stocks and the reduction of by-catch like crocodiles. Unfortunately there are still a small number of river systems where the closure lines are at complete odds with what is publicly acceptable,” de With added.

“AFANT has real concerns regarding the closure line in the East Alligator River which allows barramundi netting to the very  headwaters of the Cooper Creek and we’re planning to put this issue on the agenda at both the Barra MAC and if not successful through this process we aim to make it an election policy issue.

“The East Alligator River is on the edge of the world heritage listed Kakadu National Park and is a very popular recreational fishing area. We receive many complaints about the netting in this system. The other major concern with the continued netting in the East Alligator is with the impact on threatened shark species like species of sawfish, northern river shark and the spear tooth shark which are known to inhabit these waters.

“The industry and government must address the closure line in the East Alligator River and move it back to the mouth of the river system as a matter of priority as it will become an extremely negative issue for the barramundi fishery,” de With concluded.

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