Lake Macquarie crab gear exchange

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Witches hats are made of very thin, entanglement mesh, that can result in incidental entanglement of non-target species.

AS part of NSW DPI’s trial permitting the use of crab traps in Lake Macquarie, DPI will be holding pop-up exchange days at the Hunter Fisheries Office at Swansea where fishers can exchange their "witches hat" or collapsible rectangular style traps for a new round crab trap or lift net (limited to one exchange per person).

Witches hats are made of very thin, entanglement mesh, which is inverted when set and can result in the incidental entanglement and drowning of turtles and other non-target species. Additionally, because of the lightweight nature of the steel ring in witches hat nets, they can often move location during tidal movements and be lost to the fisher. This lost gear then continues to "ghostfish".

The pop-up exchange program aims to facilitate the new trial permitting crab traps in Lake Macquarie while encouraging local fishers to move away from traditional witches hat nets by providing an environmentally friendly crab trap alternative. DPI staff will recycle the surrendered witches hat nets where possible. The next of these pop up days will be on the 19th December from 10am –2pm at the Hunter Fisheries Office, 55 Lambton Parade Swansea.

All attendees on the day are required to register via Eventbite: www.eventbrite.com.au

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