With the reduction of commercial fishing licences on the Nambucca River in recent years, the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) announced on Tuesday the quantity of fish taken commercially from the river had dropped by 80 per cent.
A DPI spokesperson said less commercial licences meant commercial catches had dropped.
“This does not mean that there are less fish to catch,” the spokesperson said.
“Fishing effort in the Nambucca River and other similar estuaries is carefully managed to ensure sustainability of fish stocks.
“The vast majority of key species harvested from estuaries are scientifically assessed as being sustainably fished. Dependent on environmental conditions, commercial and recreational catches can vary from year to year.”
She said the NSW Government was committed to conserving fish stocks and habitats, and to providing quality recreational fishing opportunities as well as a sustainable and viable commercial fishing industry.
“The majority of species harvested from estuaries are scientifically assessed as being sustainably fished.”
Recreational fishing is a major part of the local tourism industry, however recreational fishers are not exempt from specific DPI regulations:
* Since 2016 weekend netting (6pm Friday to 6pm Sunday) has been prohibited on both the Nambucca River and Warrell Creek.
The DPI regulation states that any method involving the use of a net is prohibited, other than the following: (a) a hand-hauled prawn net, (b) a dip or scoop net (prawns), (c) a landing net.
* Three weeks ago spearfishing in the tidal waters of the Nambucca River and its tributaries was also prohibited.