New mulloway fishing rules will catch on

NEW rules for mulloway fishing come into effect next week, in an effort to help rebuild NSW stocks to a sustainable level.

Mulloway stocks have been overfished, and a recovery program is needed to restock the population, says Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson.

The new recreational bag limit for mulloway will be reduced from five fish to two fish.

The minimum legal length for both recreational and commercial fishers will be increased from 45cm to 70cm.

"The new rules, for commercial and recreational fishing sectors, are based on scientific advice and information sourced from extensive consultation with the fishing community," Ms Hodgkinson said.

Byron Bay's Ken Thurlow, representing recreational fishers, was at Ms Hodgkinson's announcement about the new mulloway rules.

He said it was a display of "positive and decisive leadership".

"This iconic species can live for 40 years and attain a mass of 60kg at 2m length," he said. "It has been the most studied species of the last decade."

Mr Thurlow said the studies had revealed only 50% of female mulloway were sexually mature at 70cm, so for years they have been fished before having a chance to spawn.

He said it was an "untenable situation", and welcomed the government's recovery plan.

"Recovery plans are soundly and scientifically based upon a reduction in catch and effort," he said.

The new rules come into effect from November 1.



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