Netting ban imposed for Boyne River

FOLLOWING on from recent reports of large scale commercial netting on the Boyne River below QLD’s Awoonga Dam and a public outcry over turtle deaths and the decimation of the flood-introduced barra, the government has imposed a temporary netting ban.

Environment Minister Kate Jones said she has issued an interim conservation order (ICO) under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, aimed at protecting the vulnerable green turtle following the death of 22 turtles in the Boyne River in the past few weeks.

“This 60 day ban is aimed at stopping further deaths of the turtle in this region,” Ms Jones said.

“Almost 20,000 barramundi recently washing over the Awoonga Dam spillway and have been moving along the Boyne River system.

“Several commercial net fishers have been targeting these fish and setting nets at the river mouth.

“Investigations to date suggest this activity may have been the cause of the high number of turtle fatalities.

“I want to thank the commercial fishing industry for their support for this ban.

“We will be working closely with industry to identify the direct cause and consider ways to address this problem.”

Ms Jones said the interim conservation order prohibits all netting of fish in the Boyne River and within 1km of the river mouth for the next two months.

The interim conservation order effectively extends the current closure in the Boyne River that was due to conclude on 1 May, and establishes an additional closure seaward of the river mouth.

Local fishos and visitors who had recently travelled to the region to take advantage of the Boyne’s barra bounty say the move is a little too late, going by reports of Easter that the barramundi had been virtually wiped out by the netters.

Fisho has so far been unsuccessful in getting information from Queensland Fisheries on the monetary value of the Boyne’s barra to the local commercial fishing industry. 

Ms Jones said the 60-day suspension on netting activity would allow for the barramundi to disperse through the system and reduce the exposure of green turtles to the concentrated netting effort that has occurred at the mouth of the river.

Do you think the QLD government should make the Boyne River netting ban permanent? Let us know on our online poll.

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