An opinion piece with Mike Stevens
Many Tasmanian fishermen remember how easy it was to catch a feed of fish back in the day. Parents cherished teaching their children how to fish and took pride in Tasmania’s fisheries. But things have changed, and our fisheries just aren’t what they used to be. Bag limits are tightening and size restrictions are getting stricter. Phasing out recreational gillnets need to be part of this effort to bring our fish back because they simply don’t allow the ‘limit your catch, don’t catch your limit’ approach required to look after our fish stocks in today’s times.
Fishing favourites Bastard Trumpeter, Blue Warehou and Banded Morwong, are all at historic lows and are vulnerable to gillnetting. Over one third of all fish caught using gillnets is thrown away – wasted. In the case of Banded Morwong and some sharks, around 90% are discarded. These are fish that need to be growing into breeders.
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