Australia: NSW announces sandtiger shark protection moves

Media Release

Katrina Hodgkinson MP
Minister for Primary Industries
Minister for Small Business

Thursday 20 September 2012


New Rules Protect Grey Nurse Sharks

Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson today announced new management arrangements to protect the critically endangered grey nurse shark.

Ms Hodgkinson said the new rules are simple for recreational fishers and scuba divers to follow while also ensuring the conservation needs of this species of shark are met now and into the future.

“Consistent with the NSW Liberals & Nationals pre-election commitment, Labor’s shambolic fishing rules were revoked and extensive consultation undertaken,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

Some of the key changes include:

  • restrictions on the use of baited hooks around key breeding areas for grey nurse sharks along the NSW coastline;
  • delisting the Bass Point critical habitat site in Shellharbour; and
  • protecting a small site near Mermaid Reef off Crowdy Head.

“These rules have been developed after more than a year of public and stakeholder consultation, and review of more than 2000 submissions,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

“Recreational fishers are still able to fish in these areas with a wide range of methods such as spinning, trolling, jigging, hand gathering and crabbing but are not permitted to use baited hooks, which is the leading cause of death for these marine animals.

“The scuba diving regulations will be revoked and replaced with a Code of Conduct for diving with grey nurse sharks.

“There will be a compliance advisory period of twelve months while the new measures are phased in.

“An educational and advisory campaign including new boat ramp signage will also be rolled out, and the full details are available at

“I would like to thank the stakeholders and the members of the community who contributed to the review.

“I am confident this will strike a balanced approach that will both protect grey nurse sharks while continuing to provide recreational fishing and diving opportunities” Ms Hodgkinson said.

Source: NSW Department of Primary Industries


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