stingrayFisheries Victoria is seeking public comment on a set of proposed measures aimed at increasing protection to the States’ iconic rays, skates and guitarfish.

A Fisheries Notice was released today proposing a range of reforms to the way recreational fishers catch these species. The notice is open for consultation for the next two months.

The notice proposes prohibiting the take or possession of large, iconic rays with a wingspan wider than 1.5m.

It is proposed that the catch (bag) limit be reduced from five to one per day for rays less than 1.5m wide, skates or guitarfish.

Fishers will not be permitted to take any of these species within 400m of any man-made fixed structure including any pier, jetty, wharf or breakwater.

Fisheries regulations already require fishers to return any unwanted catch to the water with the least possible injury or damage.

Over the past few months, Project Banjo has echoed community concerns about socially unacceptable treatment of rays, particularly those taken from piers and jetties in and around Port Phillip Bay.

Fisheries Victoria Executive Director, Travis Dowling, said the proposed reforms have been developed to address those concerns.

“We are working constructively with Project Banjo and recreational fishing groups to increase awareness and protection of rays and banjo sharks,” Mr Dowling said.

“We are improving signage on piers to remind fishers they need to be responsible in the way they fish for, handle and release these species.”

“The proposed reforms will take that a step further, and we urge all interested fishers and members of the community to make a contribution to the proposed rules on rays and skates.”

The notice is open for consultation until Monday 14 August 2017 and can be viewed at