OPERA house nets will be banned in all public and private waters throughout Victoria from July 1, 2019.
The nets will be phased out in Victoria with new open top lift nets now more readily available to replace them.
Up until now, many fishers purchased opera house nets to target yabbies unaware they couldn’t be used in public waters in Victoria.
Open top lift nets can be used in both public and private waters and have proven to be effective yabby catchers.
As part of the changes, a one-for-one trade-in is planned, whereby fishers can trade in their old opera house nets for free open top lift nets.
Trials have indicated that wildlife friendly gear such as open top lift nets and hoop nets can catch more yabbies than opera house nets when fished actively, so it’ll be even easier to put yabbies on the table.
The Victorian Fisheries Authority will work with the fishing tackle sector, anglers and environmental groups on an awareness campaign around wildlife friendly yabby gear leading up to the 2019 deadline.