Illegal net discovered in Sydney’s south

NSW Fisheries officers have seized an illegally set 50 metre long net from a river in Sydney’s south, found entangled with dead fish and wildlife.

The monofilament gill net was found in waters of the upper Georges River near Liverpool, last month.

“Acting on information from the public, fisheries officers from the Sydney South District found and removed the illegal net, and found a duck along with two turtles, three Australian bass and 18 large Bully Mullet,” Mr Clarke said Department of Primary Industries Supervising Fisheries Officer, Chris Clarke.

“Two entangled ducks were released alive from the gill net.

“These nets are illegal and are of great concern to fisheries officers and the community in general.”

Monofilament nets are designed to be very light and be invisible in water and are set stationary in the water column and entrap the fish as they are swimming.

These nets also pose a serious threat to other air breathing animals in the marine and freshwater environments such as platypus, tortoise, turtles, water rats and water birds.

“Fisheries officers are investigating the matter and anyone found in possession of monofilament nets, or any other unauthorised nets or not complying with any of the fishing rules will be prosecuted under the Fisheries Management Act 1994,” Mr Clarke said.

“Penalties can range from a $500 on-the-spot fine to $22,000 and possible imprisonment.

“Botany Bay and its tributaries are listed as a Recreational Fishing Haven which bans commercial fishing. This includes the use of all types of commercial nets.

“The Havens are in place to provide quality recreational fishing . The use of illegal nets by unskilled operators could impact significantly on our fisheries resources as many times such gear is lost and continues to ‘fish’.

“The use and possession by recreational fishers of monofilament nets, meshing nets and gill nets in, on or adjacent to NSW waters has been prohibited for many years.

“Fishing rules including gear restrictions are scientifically determined and put in place to ensure our fish stocks are fished sustainably, that the resource is shared fairly between all user groups and to help preserve our local fish stocks and habitat for future generations to enjoy.”

NSW fishing regulations available at


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