Greater protection for grey nurse sharks

The State Government through NSW DPI is currently implementing new measures which will promote greater protection for the endangered Grey Nurse Shark.

Department of Primary Industries Director-General Barry Buffier said there will now be greater protection restrictions on commercial line fishing at two sites:

  • The Green Island/Fish Rock grey nurse shark aggregation site, near South West Rocks; and 
  • The Magic Point aggregation site, near Maroubra. 

"These measures are in addition to a range of new fishing area restrictions applied over the past 18 months through the implementation of the new Port Stephens-Great Lakes and Bateman’s Bay marine parks, which have increased protection of grey nurse sharks," Mr Buffier said.

"These new restrictions have been made to help satisfy the Wildlife Trade Operation export approval conditions applied to the NSW Ocean Trap and Line Fishery (OTLF) by the Federal Government, which were affirmed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on 18 October 2007.

"The latest sites that are subject to additional restrictions already have significant controls on them in the form of critical habitat area regulations.

"These additional restrictions will result in more stringent controls within the existing critical habitat limits, and an extension of the area where the restrictions apply."

The Magic Point changes will come into effect on November 16th 2007, while the Fish Rock/Green Island changes will not be implemented until May 2008. This will enable the handful of commercial fishers who are directly impacted by the changes time to adjust their businesses.

It is important to note that these latest restrictions apply to the commercial line fishery only. Recreational fishers must continue to fish in accordance with the current critical habitat area restrictions at those sites.

NSW DPI is moving in a practical and orderly way to build on the previous measures implemented by the NSW Government to mitigate risks to grey nurse sharks.