VICTORIA is leading the way in the banning of Opera House Yabby nets in a bid to stamp out wildlife deaths.
After a two decade campaign by Victorian Recreation Fisheries (VRF) to see the banning, a buyback scheme has been implemented where old-style net owners can swap them for the new open top netting.
Chairman of VRF Rob Loats said it was a great outcome for native fauna and he encouraged other states to follow suit.
“I once came across a chord and pulled it out and it had dead water rats and dead tortoises in it, it’s a terrible shame because they can’t get out,” he said.
“People had illegally put that in a river where it shouldn't have been, this will hopefully prevent that happening in the future.
“We’re in discussions with New South Wales and we hope within 12 months they will also ban these nets.”
Opera House netting is commonly used for private purposes, but sometimes end up in public waterways. They will be made illegal from July 1 next year.
Open-top nets feature a 20cm by 20cm gap at their top, which enables air-breathing animals to escape.
Agriculture minister Jaala Pulford said the state government would fund the buyback scheme.
The Victorian Fisheries Authority is distributing 10,000 open-top nets.
So far 45 fishing stores around the state are signed up to the program.
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