Ban the sale of platypus-killing enclosed yabby traps in Victoria
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Enclosed yabby traps are certified platypus-killers
Platypus are easily trapped inside enclosed yabby traps (such as opera house nets) after they enter attracted by the bait. Platypus are air breathing animals who, once trapped, are unable to resurface and soon drown. Every year numerous platypus die due to opera house nets and other models of enclosed yabby trap). Data on reported deaths in public waterways is collected by DELWP and the Australian Platypus Conservancy, however we do not currently know the full extent of platypus deaths on private land.
The use or possession of opera house nets is prohibited in, on, or next to Victorian public waters. This ban, however, does not extend to privately owned bodies of water, such as dams or small streams on private land. Use of opera house nets on private land is still legal despite the well documented threat they pose to platypus. In addition, every year numerous opera house nets are illegally used and detected in public waterways, indicating many are unaware of the regulations.
We argue the current regulations are not sufficient to prevent avoidable platypus deaths.
We the undersigned call upon the Victorian Minister for Agriculture to implement the following.
1. The sale and use of enclosed yabby traps be prohibited in the State of Victoria under the Fisheries Act 1995.
2. The State Government consult with retailers and recreational fishing peak organisations to achieve this goal.
3. The State Government work with DELWP, the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Melbourne Water and recreational fishing peak organisations to promote currently available platypus-safe alternatives to enclosed yabby traps.
The platypus is one of the world’s most unique animals and found nowhere else in the world than South-Eastern Australia. It is an apex predator of our waterways and provides a broad range of social values - indigenous cultural heritage, iconic status for community engagement in conservation, and visitation revenue for Zoos Victoria. Our goal is to ensure that this truly unique animal remains here for the long term.
Alternatives to opera house nets:
A range of platypus-safe alternatives to opera house nets are currently on the market. Purchase price difference is very small ($1.00-$5.00 more per unit). More info here: http://delwp.vic.gov.au/fishing-and-hunting/recreational-fishing/recreational-fishing-guide/permitted-fishing-equipment/using-equipment-in-inland-waters
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