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15,157
Supporters

Update: Another 2 turtles have been found dead in crab trap gear in Port Stephens. You can read the full article here.

Currently in NSW, endangered turtles and other marine species are frequently fatally caught in witches hat crab traps, a recreational fishing gear type. These same traps have been banned in Qld due to the havoc they cause on marine life.

The Qld ban was implemented to combat ghost-fishing and reduce the entanglement and death of non-targeted species such as turtles, rays and fish. Witches hats are made of a light gauge mesh which can easily tangle some marine species. Also because of their light weight they can drift and become lost, effectively continuing to catch fish (ghost fish) until they become buried or break down.

The current review on NSW Salt and Freshwater Recreational Fishing rules is proposing a reduction of witches hat crab traps from 5 to 4 per person rather than following Queensland's lead and phasing out this destructive fishing gear altogether.

Sign our petition and let the Minister know that we want witches hat crab traps phased out over the next 2 years to stop our endangered marine life dying unnecessarily.

Letter to
NSW Department of Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson
NSW Minister for Environment The Hon. Rob Stokes, MP (NSW Minister for Environment)
RE: Phase out the use of witches hat crab traps in NSW
Currently in NSW turtles and other marine species are being fatally caught in witches hat crab traps, a recreational fishing gear type.

From 2 April 2010 witches hat crab traps, also known as inverted crab dillies were banned in Queensland. The phasing out of witches' hats was announced back in December 2008 as part of an overhaul in recreational and commercial fishing rules for Queensland's inshore fisheries.

The ban was implemented to combat ghost-fishing and reduce the entanglement and death of non-targeted species such as turtles, rays and fish.

Witches hats are made of a light gauge mesh which can easily tangle some marine species. Also because of their light weight they can drift and become lost, effectively continuing to catch fish (ghost fish) until they become buried or break down.

The current review on NSW Salt and Freshwater Recreational Fishing rules is proposing a reduction of witches hat crab traps from 5 to 4 per person rather than following Queensland's lead and phasing out this destructive fishing gear altogether. This is not good enough, particularly since earlier discussions at bag and size limit review meetings included the phase out of this destructive gear type as an option. This is not on the table in the current review.

Witches hat crab traps need to be phased out over the next 2 years to stop our endangered marine life dying unnecessarily.