Department of Land, Water and Planning warns fisherman about opera house nets ahead of the long weekend

ILLEGAL fishing nets would not be tolerated during the Queen’s Birthday long weekend says the Department of Land, Water and Planning. 

The warning comes after a recent ban on opera house nets in May this year. 

DELWP Grampians Regional Manager Environmental Compliance, Grant Allan said signs in key river hot spots are being posted to remind everyone that the use of opera house nets in public waters is illegal.

He warned that DELWP are taking the issue very seriously. 

“We want to get this message out before the long weekend so that people can make the choice to only use platypus-safe alternatives, such as the hoop or open top lift nets,” he said. 

“The platypus is an iconic Australian species that is in decline. It’s an upsetting experience for our forest and wildlife officers to find dead platypus or rakali in yabby nets that have been carelessly left behind.” 

It is illegal to use opera house nets in, on or near Victorian public waters. 

The Victorian Fisheries Authority announced in May this year that this ban will be extended to all Victorian waters from 1 July 2019. 

Under the Wildlife Act 1975 there are strong penalties associated with taking or being in possession of protected wildlife or using prohibited equipment, which is up to a maximum of $38,0562 and/or 24 months imprisonment.