mulloway
Mulloway

How you can help our mighty mulloway

Some fishers may have noticed there has been a strong recent recruitment pulse of mulloway, with reports of large numbers of juvenile fish (40-60cm) in estuaries and off some ocean beaches. This follows three years of high rainfall and associated high estuarine flows. This recruitment pulse represents a great opportunity to boost the stock of this highly valued species.

The latest Status of Australian Fish Stocks Report classifies the stock biomass of mulloway in NSW as ‘depleted’ (previously referred to as overfished) www.fish.gov.au/report/368-Mulloway-2020.

Recreational, commercial, and Aboriginal fishers are already working together with DPI and independent experts to develop a Harvest Strategy for mulloway, to set catch rules to help the overall stock recover to a sustainable level.

Mulloway are an important and iconic species in NSW and therefore we are also encouraging all fishers to help ensure as many juveniles as possible of this fast-growing species survive through to maturity, to increase the chances of the stock recovering.

Recreational fishers can do their bit to help our mighty mulloway by;

  • Adhering to the minimum size limit for mulloway of 70cm, with a recreational daily bag limit of 1
  • Using lures or using circle hooks when using bait to reduce the risk of injuries caused by deep-hooking (www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/recreational/fishing-skills/catch-and-release/circle-hooks-benefits-and-tips)
  • Not attempting to remove any deeply set hooks (the line should be cut as close as possible to the mouth and the fish swiftly released)
  • Avoiding aggregations of juvenile fish wherever possible, particularly if they are located in deeper water where they may experience barotrauma symptoms
  • Being aware of techniques to minimise barotrauma impacts (release fish quickly and use a release weight if necessary)
  • Applying good handling practices to maximise post release survival

For tips on maximising fish survival, including reducing barotrauma impacts go to the DPI website: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/recreational/fishing-skills/catch-and-release.

Fishers are also reminded that DPI Fisheries Compliance operation ‘mulloway assist’ continues along the coast, focusing compliance resources on mulloway catches across all harvest sectors in estuaries and inshore fishing locations.

DPI is providing advice across all fisheries to take every possible precaution to avoid potential bycatch of these juvenile mulloway to support stock recovery in NSW.

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