Prevent unwanted aquatic hitchhikers this Australia Day long weekend

25 Jan 2018

Recreational fishers are being reminded to think about the risks of spreading pests, diseases and weeds as they take to the water this Australia Day long weekend.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has issued the reminder to highlight the importance of ensuring aquatic pests, weeds and diseases are not spread between NSW waterways.

“Fishing is a great way to spend the long weekend and everyone who wets a line has a role to play in protecting our waterways and the future of one of Australia’s favourite pastimes,” said Aquatic Biosecurity Officer Debra Doolan

“Pests, weeds and diseases such as Tilapia, alligator weed or White spot disease in prawns pose a genuine threat to the health of our waterways and our native fish species. They can also cause considerable economic damage to marine industries such as aquaculture, commercial fisheries and tourism.

“There are some simple things people can do while on the water to ensure they prevent unwanted hitchhikers.”

Some tips provided by DPI to reduce the biosecurity risk include:

  • Avoid boating, swimming and fishing near known populations of introduced aquatic pests and be aware of local conditions and possible movement restrictions;
  • Make ‘Clean’ part of your routine: Thoroughly clean boats, boat trailers and equipment when moving between waterways, paying particular attention to debris and biological material;
  • Dispose of wastes appropriately away from the water;
  • Do not use prawns or any other seafood intended for human consumption as bait.

The public are also reminded that if they see anything unusual to take a photo and report suspected aquatic pests or diseases to the NSW DPI Aquatic Biosecurity 24 hour phone line on (02) 4916 3877 or email

Fishers are encouraged to seek more information by visiting the information provided on a newly released fact sheet found on the DPI website

Media contact: Jamie Jones (02) 6391 3686