South Australia limits shark fishing from metropolitan beaches

Hindmarsh residents win shark fishing ban

News Release,
Steve Georganas MP, Labor Member for Hindmarsh,
14. February 2012

A new ban on shark fishing from South Australian metropolitan beaches strikes the right balance between swimmers and recreational fishers, Steve Georganas said today.

The ban, which comes into effect today and prevents shark fishing between 5am-9pm, was requested by Mr Georganas in a letter to Minister Gail Gago on 11 January 2012.

‘This is a big win for the Hindmarsh community. We are very lucky to have such a wonderful coastline in Adelaide and the ban just reinforces the rights and responsibilities we all have to each other in the community as beach users to ensure our activities don’t create unnecessary risks for others.’

‘This is a great example of the South Australian and Australian Government listening to the local community and responding to legitimate concerns raised by many of my constituents about sharks being lured close to shore during daylight hours when there are swimmers, including young children and surf life savers, in the water’

‘I am very grateful to the many residents and community groups who took the time to contact me and relay their concerns about shark fishing at our beaches, because it meant I could take those concerns direct to the Minister and she has been able to consider those in detail when making this decision’.

Under the new rules, shark fishing will be banned from metropolitan beaches between 5am-9pm but will be permitted at night.  Fishers are banned from using wire traces and a maximum hook size of 50mm will apply.

Penalties include a $315 on-the-spot fine or fines of up to $20,000 if the matter goes to court.

Source: Steve Georganas MP, Labor Member for Hindmarsh.


Below is the related item that was on the agenda of the South Australian Fisheries Council meeting in Nov 2011.

Meeting No: 20
Wednesday 23 November 2011, 9.30am

( … )

3.6 Shark Fishing and Berleying
The meeting was advised that this item was referred to the Fisheries Council by
the Minister who had requested advice on the issue of fishing for sharks and
berleying off metropolitan jetties and beaches.
Shark experts Mr Barry Bruce (CSIRO) and Mr Paul Rogers (SARDI) were
invited to the meeting to provide a briefing on the effect of sharks and berleying
to members. Mr Peter Dietman, Director Fisheries and Aquaculture Operations
also attended the meeting to provide advice on enforcement and compliance

It was noted that:

  • The expert advice suggests that the cryptic behaviour of sharks is
    unpredictable. Sharks are very often present in an area but are not seen
    by people.
  • It is difficult to prevent the use of all types of berley and any attempt to
    regulate specific bait or berley types is problematic.
  • The level of berleying from recreational fishing activities is unlikely to
    cause any significant changes in shark behaviour.
  • Other fishing activities such as berleying associated with Garfish fishing
    and baiting of net/pots for Blue Swimmer Crabs also involves the use of
    fish products in inshore areas.
  • Further restrictions on shark berleying is unlikely to reduce the future risk
    of shark incidents along the South Australian metropolitan beaches.
  • The dimension of the issue at this stage is not of a large scale and is
    raised by media and others every year during the warmer months.
  • Education and awareness programs are in place and community
    behaviour appears to have been modified resulting in a decrease in illegal
    berleying activity in recent years.
  • The existing legislative provisions are satisfactory in preventing people in
    engaging in unreasonable or inappropriate behaviour in shark fishing /
    berleying activities.

The Executive Director of PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture provided the
Fisheries Council with options for additional management. The council supported
these options as follows:

  • Prohibition of wire trace and large hooks to limit targeted shark fishing in
    specified areas.
  • Spatial and/or time closures, including daylight fishing activity closures to
    limit shark fishing.
  • Investigation of the use of local government by-laws to manage shark
    fishing activities from jetties.

Following the meeting a letter will be sent to the Minister advising her of the
findings of the Council.

ACTION: Secretariat



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