DPI recognises that a fish may need to be landed on a boat or shore to determine whether a fish is of a particular length, or species, or to remove hooks to ensure least possible harm. The issue of photographing fish outside bag, size or other legal limits has arisen in respect of Murray cod in excess of 75cm and for other species and circumstances. DPI has issued the following policy advice which provides clarification to fishers within the context of Section 36 of the Fisheries Management Act 1994 in relation to photographing fish which are not permitted to be taken (including Murray cod over the maximum size limit of 75cm).
If a fisher captures a prohibited size fish, or a fish taken in excess of the bag or possession limit, or seasonal closure or a fish that is otherwise not legally permissible to take under the Act, photographs may be taken at the immediate location where the fish is landed provided a device to photograph the fish is immediately available, DPI catch and release (best practice) guidelines are adhered to as much as possible and the fish is returned to its natural environment with the least possible injury as quickly as possible after photographs have been taken (see catch and release guidelines). Weighing of fish in these circumstances, or transporting fish to be weighed/measured is not considered best practice and is not permitted for fish which are not permitted to be taken.
Note: If the fisher does not adhere to the above requirements, compliance action may be taken and the policy does not apply to fishing in closed waters.
For more information regarding maximising released fish survival and NSW DPI catch and release best practice guidelines phone 02 4424 7417.
For other inland fishing enquires, phone DPI on 02 6042 4211.