Fishers warned to play by the rules

A NSW Fisheries officer with Agriculture Minister, Adam Marshall, and Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch

Central Coast fishers are being urged to abide by the rules this summer as the NSW Fisheries ramps up patrols.

Minister for Agriculture, Adam Marshall, joined Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, for a ride in one of the patrol boats to observe some fishing spots along the coastline on November 23.

Marshall said with more tourists expected in the region this year, NSW Fisheries will be adding more compliance officers and vessels to monitor illegal fishing and ensure people are safe on the water.

“Most fishers do the right thing, but we know there is a small majority that don’t respect bag or size limits, and who are ruining it for everyone else,” Marshall said.

“That is why the work of Fisheries officers is so important.

“Many people will be staying home this Christmas break, so we know they will want to make the most of their sensational local waterways and coastal fishing opportunities over the summer break.”

Crouch is encouraging fishers to download the FishSmart app created by NSW DPI which provides information on bag and size limits, closed seasons and fishing gear rules.

It also includes a real-time map to help locate the nearest Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs), artificial reefs, Recreational Fishing Havens and Marine Park zones.

“Fishing is one of the most accessible, most rewarding activities available, and goes hand-in-hand with an Aussie summer,” Crouch said.

“We have some beautiful beaches and great waterways to drop a line, along the Central Coast especially, so they should be enjoyed by all in sustainable way.”

NSW Fisheries officers said the rock platform at Avoca is one of the busiest areas for rock fishing in the region.

Marshall said there are 15,00 registered fishers for Terrigal, and almost one million across the state.

“In NSW, there are 103 Fisheries officers who carry out targeted operations to ensure sustainable industry for all,” he said.

“In the last financial year, they were on patrol for more than 77,000 patrol hours and carried out 50,000 inspections.”

The ex HMAS Adelaide wreck, Munmorah Power House at Budgewoi Lake, and Bouddi National Park are the three total fishing closures on the Central Coast.

Recreational netting and trapping is prohibited in Lake Munmorah, Upper Hawkesbury river, parts of Brisbane Water, Cowan Creek and Jerusalem Bay, Mooney Mooney Creek, Tuggerah Lakes, Patonga Creek, Wamberal Lagoon, Terrigal Lagoon, Avoca Lake and Cockrone Lake.

Spearfishing and diving are prohibited within 20m of all NSW ocean beaches.

Bait digging and collection is prohibited on the Brisbane Water at Ettalong, Cockle Creek and Saratoga.

More information is available on the NSW government website.

Jacinta Counihan