Legalised Bowfishing Proposed After Positive Trial

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After a successful 18 month bow fishing trial the NSW government has opened the door to legalise bowfishing for carp across the state. 

The Central Western Daily revealed agriculture minister Adam Marshall will release a discussion paper for public consultation on Friday. 

Bowfishing remains prohibited in inland waters and can only be undertaken in the same areas as spearfishing, as they share the same definition in current regulations.

"The consultation period ... is the first step in progressing potential rule changes and I encourage interested parties to give their feedback and enter the discussion," Mr Marshall said.

"We will also consult the Recreational Fishing NSW Advisory Council and other Government and non-government

stakeholders throughout this process to ensure the activity is conducted safely and sustainably.

"The trial program and its subsequent review identified that bowfishing is a safe and sustainable fishing technique."

Mr Marshall said "200 fishers took part in the trial program, including a number from Orange Bowhunting Club, and 'safely harvested more than 700 carp' from waterways across the Central West and NSW".

He said "with the right regulation bowfishing could provide an avenue to help reduce the species' destruction of waterways and the impact that has on natives, although its large-scale efficacy remains to be seen".

"It may not make a massive dent in carp populations on it's own, no, but working alongside other removal techniques it can play a role. Anything we can do to help removal of carp ... can only be considered good news," he said.

"The trial we did took a lot things into consideration like how effective it was in harvesting carp, the safety of the practice and its economical benefits, we got ticks back in all those departments.

"A really big thing considered in the trial was any impact it could have on native species and that was raised as an issue to us, but the review was positive in those terms as well.

"We've put a lot of safety caveats in place for the rules and around the specifications of the equipment, like the tethering of all arrows. I think it could be a really great thing for regional NSW."

Have your say on legalising bowfishing for Carp in inland waters: The public consultation period will close on Monday, 12 April and interested parties are encouraged to give their feedback and enter the discussion. For more information and to provide feedback, visit the NSW DPI website https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/.../have-your-say-on...

 

 
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