Ban Opera House Nets

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Wildlife Queensland calls for our state government to stop stalling and ban deadly enclosed yabby traps (opera house nets) before more aquatic mammals suffer.

Since 2009, Wildlife Queensland has pushed for a ban on opera house-style traps and funnel traps in Queensland.

In 2014, the government of the day amended regulations to significantly reduce the size of the entrance hole of traps being used east of the Great Dividing Range and east of the Gore Highway. While this action was a step in the right direction, platypuses and other non-targeted air-breathing native fauna continue to be caught and drown in these traps — and their deaths are entirely preventable.

Read more about how enclosed traps pose a deadly threat to air-breathing aquatic mammals.

Platypus in opera house net© Suzie Nicholls

Latest update: QLD Govt. considers ban on opera house nets

Fisheries Queensland seeks public feedback on proposed recreational fishing reforms, including banning opera house nets (enclosed yabby traps). Queensland is the only state yet to fully ban these nets, despite ongoing reports of platypuses and other air-breathing animals drowning in them.

Queensland’s wildlife needs YOUR voice! The preventable drowning deaths of air-breathing animals is a serious animal welfare issue and a significant conservation issue, as they can cause potential local extinction events.

Have your say and support a ban on opera house nets in Queensland. Submissions close at 5:00 pm on 9 May 2024.

Support our campaign

Wildlife Queensland is calling for Queensland to follow the other states’ lead and say no to enclosed yabby traps!

Queensland remains the only state not to fully ban the use and sale of these nets which are used in freshwater dams and waterways to catch red claw, yabbies and shrimp.

We urge the Queensland Government to hurry up and ban these death traps in all Queensland public waters.

Opera house traps of any size continue to pose a real threat to air-breathing aquatic mammals.

Platypuses swim in after a feed of yabbies and then can’t get out, they thrash around and they’re dead within minutes.

But, it’s not just platypuses, it’s also rakali, water dragons, turtles and fish, so it’s an animal welfare issue as well as a conservation one.

Tamielle Brunt

Project Officer, PlatypusWatch Network, Wildlife Queensland

More ways to support platypuses

report trap

Report any sightings of enclosed yabby traps (opera house nets) in local waterways in QLD (since 2015).

Visit PlatypusWatch

Head to our PlatypusWatch web page for more ways you can help our threatened platypus populations.

Adopt a platypus

Support our vital PlatypusWatch conservation work by symbolically adopting a platypus.

Latest campaign news

Have you seen the world’s only aquatic monotreme?© Canva NFP

Have you seen the world’s only aquatic monotreme?

August is platypus month, an initiative embraced by Wildlife Queensland’s PlatypusWatch Network. Despite almost everyone knowing about the biological curiosity that is the world’s one and only living platypus species, many Queenslanders haven’t seen this elusive egg-laying mammal in the wild.

read more

Authorised by Des Boyland, Secretary, Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland, Suite 1, Level 1, 30 Gladstone Road, Highgate Hill, Brisbane, Qld 4101.

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