News

Keep our beaches safe this summer

Monday 23 December 2019

Recreational fishers are being reminded to stick to the rules when it comes to bait and berleying to keep our beaches shark safe this summer.


There have been unconfirmed reports of illegal berleying at metropolitan jetties and fishers are reminded they must not use blood, bone, meat, offal or skin of an animal as berley within two nautical miles of the shore.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the reports were concerning and that anyone caught doing the wrong thing would be fined.

"Throwing illegal berley into the water off jetties and close to the beach is an incredibly stupid and selfish act which puts the community at risk by attracting sharks to areas where people may be swimming," said Minister Whetstone.

"Fisheries Officers will be on the lookout for anyone illegally berleying off jetties or within two nautical miles of the beach, with offenders facing a maximum penalty of up to $2,500.

"Berleying is commonly used by recreational fishers and can be lawfully done when fish or fish products are used so I encourage anyone looking to drop a line to make sure they know the rules.

"The presence of sharks is not unexpected and there have been more than 100 sightings of sharks reported in Gulf St Vincent near metropolitan beaches in the past year. Just a few weeks ago a surf lifesaving club abandoned a planned board training session and cancelled all water activities due to the presence of White Sharks.

"Our beaches are stunning places for kids to enjoy the ocean and learn how to swim and surf under the watchful gaze of their parents and our brave surf life savers.

"Please follow the fishing rules so that everyone can safely enjoy our beaches this summer."

Fishers are also reminded never to use seafood sold for human consumption (including imported seafood) as bait or berley, as it has the potential to spread exotic disease. While these diseases don't impact human health, they can threaten the health of our native species and aquatic environment.

Large shark sightings can be reported to Fishwatch however, if the shark is posing an immediate danger to human life, call the South Australian Police immediately on 000.

Aerial shark surveillance programs are also underway for the summer, providing extra capability in the sky to protect beach-goers.

To find out more about bait and berley rules in South Australia, head to pir.sa.gov.au/baitandberley

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