QLD Govt. considers ban on opera house nets: Have your say!

Ban Opera House Nets

19 March 2024

Fisheries Queensland is inviting feedback from fishers and the wider community on recreational fishing reform options, including the proposed ban on opera house-style nets (enclosed yabby traps).

These reform options are outlined in a discussion paper, accessible for download from the Fisheries Queensland website. Your input will play a crucial role in shaping future management strategies, ensuring the protection of our native wildlife and sustainable management of Queensland’s fisheries.

CLICK HERE to have your say.

Why consider a ban on opera house-style nets?

Opera house-style nets present risks to air-breathing native animals, including platypus, rakali and turtles. As a result, most Australian states and territories have already either banned or further restricted the use of this trap.

Even at 5 cm openings, there is a chance of drowning platypus (baby platypus can be as small as 300-400g when they emerge from the nest), and that can have detrimental impacts on populations. These nets also harm other air-breathing animals like this rakali in a 5 cm funnel (photo 2023).

Drowned rakali

In July 2023, a rakali was found drowned in a 5 cm opening bait trap in the Brisbane River and reported to Wildlife Queensland PlatypusWatch.

Drowned rakali

Measurements of the drowned rakali.

Additionally, you can’t buy a 5 cm opening net at retailers, and there is very limited information regarding the modification needed for freshwater waterways where platypus live.

“We are keen to find out from Queensland’s fishing community if they would consider supporting this ban if a good alternative net was available and they were compensated for swapping to a wildlife-friendly net that is both conservation and fishing people approved,” said Ecologist and Wildlife Queensland PlatypusWatch Project Officer, Dr Tamielle Brunt.


“By supporting a ban on opera house style traps, we can take a proactive step towards protecting our precious wildlife and ensuring their continued survival. This ban would align Queensland’s regulations with those of other states and territories, fostering consistency and greater effectiveness in wildlife conservation efforts across Australia.”

Take action: Have your say

Complete the online Recreational Fishing in Queensland Survey. Additional ways to have your say are also detailed. Submissions close at 5:00 pm on 9 May 2024.

Consider the following questions as you provide your input:

  • Are there concerns about the effectiveness of alternative nets in capturing yabbies? (e.g. size and number of yabbies caught)
  • How might the price of alternative nets impact your fishing practices? (e.g. too expensive)
  • Would you support a buy-back scheme to facilitate the transition to wildlife-friendly nets?
  • Are there additional research areas that should be explored to address concerns or improve alternative solutions? (e.g. soak times vs capture success)

Together, we can work towards solutions that balance the interests of recreational fishers with the imperative to protect our precious wildlife. Let’s ensure that Queensland’s fisheries remain sustainable and resilient for generations.

Subscribe to Talking Wildlife to read Wildlife Queensland’s latest news and offers.

Related articles


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This