Prawn trawling restrictions to protect fish during floods

22/05/09 2:30pm: Eight short-term prawn trawling closures are being introduced from today to protect fish stocks impacted by flooding on the NSW north coast, said Peter Turnell, Director Fisheries Operations with NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI). 

“The restrictions prohibit prawn trawling in ocean waters off the mouths of the Tweed, Brunswick, Richmond, Clarence, Bellinger, Nambucca, Macleay and Hastings Rivers,” Mr Turnell said.

“The two-week restrictions, which start from today, are aimed at protecting fish washed out of the rivers as a result of the floods,” he said.

“They apply to ocean waters in an area from two up to 10 nautical miles from the river mouths.

“For a detailed description of the exact locations people can go to the NSW DPI website at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au or call (02) 9527 8411.”

Mr Turnell said during floods a greater number of juvenile and non-target fish are flushed from the upper reaches of the rivers out to sea.

“On this occasion, as was the case with the last flood event on the mid-north coast in April, NSW DPI officers have consulted closely with local commercial fishers,” he said.

“They agree that the approach is in the best interests of the fishery and fishers.“

Mr Turnell said the flood restrictions complement a number of rules and regulations in place to ensure the ocean trawl fishery continues to be fished in a sustainable way.