Have your say on legalising bowfishing for Carp in inland waters….
The NSW Government has opened public discussion for the legalisation of bowfishing for carp in specified inland waters and to restrict the activity in marine waters.
Bowfishing is a technique that could be used to help remove carp, a noxious pest fish species from NSW waterways. There has been substantial interest from the community to have this discussion about potentially legalising the bowfishing of carp.
The public consultation period will close on Monday, 12 April and interested parties are encouraged to give their feedback and enter the discussion. For more information and to provide feedback, visit the NSW DPI website.
A successful 18-month trial of bowfishing for carp in inland waters was undertaken in 2015 and 2016 and had shown the technique could be safe. 200 bowfishers took part in the trial program and safely harvested more than 700 carp from waterways across the State.
The trial and its subsequent review identified that bowfishing is a safe and sustainable fishing technique. If legalised, there would be strict regulations of the activity to ensure that safety is the number one priority. This includes how close bowfishers can be to people and public spaces.
Currently, bowfishing comes under the definition of spearfishing in the Fisheries Management (General) Regulation 2010 and therefore can be lawfully undertaken in the same areas as spearfishing, which is currently prohibited in inland waters.
To assist with ongoing education and awareness around the rules and regulations governing the activity, a Bowfishing Guide would be developed by NSW DPI Fisheries and bowfishing stakeholders
Fisheries officers would regulate the activity with support from NSW Police.