Netters get green light to decimate salmon

COMMERCIAL netters in NSW have been given the go ahead to take up to 3 tonnes of Australian salmon per day (per licence holder) in changes made by the state’s Department of Primary Industries.

The changes apply north of Barrenjoey headland and have been introduced following a review of current arrangements relating to the NSW Ocean Hauling Fishery.

In a media release issued late last week, DPI Director Commercial Fisheries, Andrew Goulstone, said the decision follows consultation with commercial and recreational fishing advisory groups, including a cross-sector working group.

“The latest scientific information shows that the Australian salmon stock is in a very healthy condition,” Goulstone said.

“The new arrangements will allow a limited increase in the catch of Australian salmon caught in waters north of Barrenjoey Headland in the NSW Ocean Hauling Fishery.

“This will be subject to a daily catch limit of 3 tonnes per endorsement holder and a total annual catch trigger level of 224 tonnes.”

Amazingly, the release went on to state “these minor management changes” are not expected to impact on angling opportunities for recreational fishers.

“Australian salmon is a valued recreational fishing species, as well as an important source of bait for commercial fish and lobster traps,” Goulstone said.

“The measures will help to ensure that there is a ready supply of trap bait available for commercial fishers on the north coast of NSW, at a time when Australian salmon undertake their annual migration from southern Australian waters.

“When the stock is in such a strong position, it makes clear economic and environmental sense to allow fishers to catch a portion as it swims past their front door, rather than requiring fish to be caught south of Sydney and transported hundreds of kilometres by road.

“The catch of salmon in the subject area will be monitored throughout the year and a review process comprising commercial and recreational fishing representatives will be instigated if the total catch approaches the trigger level. This monitoring is in addition to the annual species assessment process already in place.”

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