Effort to save the mighty mulloway
A RECOVERY plan to help boost mulloway (jew fish) stocks in New South Wales announced five years ago has failed to stall the species decline, so new laws will come into effect next month.
Advice from the state's recreational and commercial fishing advisory councils has prompted the State Government to make important changes to mulloway fishing laws, which include:
- The removal of the possession limit of 10 Mulloway between 45 and 70 cm that currently applies to estuary general meshing net fishers.
- This will mean that a 70 cm Mulloway minimum size limit will apply to all fishers.
- A reduction in the recreational bag limit from two to one.
The changes come into effect on September 1 and will be closely monitored by NSW DPI.
An advisory campaign will also ensure all fishers are aware of the new rules.
The NSW Government is working with fishers to ensure the future of the prized fish species.
"In 2013, the NSW Government introduced a recovery plan with a number of new rules to halt the decline of Mulloway stock and help the recovery of the species," Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said.
"Despite efforts by fishers, a recent scientific review showed mulloway are still overfished.
"In order for stocks to recover, the review recommended that more action needed to be taken.
"Given the seriousness of the issue, I asked both the commercial and recreational advisory councils to come up with actions for their sectors, with each council establishing expert working groups to investigate the best options."
"I know this has been a tough call but it's needed to ensure mulloway stocks grow," Mr Blair said.
"The reduction in the recreational bag limit from two to one still provides opportunities for fishers to catch these magnificent fish and if they wish, keep a fish for the table.
"It will also ensure that consumers can still access wild caught mulloway now and into the future."
Both councils will continue to look at other measures, including investigating options where commercially-caught mulloway can be differentiated to reduce black market opportunities, further monitoring to ensure the effectiveness of these actions, as well as more research on fishing gear technologies to reduce bycatch of mulloway.