South Australia is the latest state to help prevent animals from drowning in forgotten fishing gear by recommending that deadly opera house nets be phased out.
Opera house nets are a type of fishing net commonly used to catch crayfish – but they’re indiscriminate killers, luring in air-breathing animals such as platypuses, rakalis, and water dragons and drowning them.
Because of the “set and forget” nature of these traps, they’re often left in the water for months at a time. Some are forgotten about completely, killing unknown numbers of animals.
The South Australia government’s announcement comes after New South Wales issued a ban earlier this year and Victoria did so in 2018. South Australia’s recommendation is that the traps be phased out by 30 June 2023.
Over the years, PETA has worked alongside dedicated grassroots groups to urge retailers and lawmakers to end the sale and use of opera house nets in Australian waters.
Five states have now moved to ban these traps, yet Queensland lags behind – even though research from the University of Queensland has found that platypus populations have disappeared from five locations around southeastern areas of the state.
According to the RSPCA, more than 200,000 of these traps are still being purchased every year.
Along with urging retailers to do the right thing by ending the sale of these traps, we’re calling on the Queensland government to ban them. Please join us by clicking the button below: