The Andrews Labor Government is better protecting stingrays, skates and guitarfish or ‘banjo sharks’ in Victoria.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford announced in Parliament today that from 7 November, recreational fishing rules will be strengthened to ensure these beautiful animals are treated with respect.

The new rules are the product of extensive public consultation during winter, which attracted almost 1200 submissions – the vast majority of which supported increased protection for these species.

The new rules will:

  • Prohibit the take or possession of stingrays, skates or guitarfish greater than 1.5 metres in wide.
  • Reduce the combined daily bag limit for rays, skates and guitarfish less than 1.5 metres wide from 5 to 1
  • Prohibit the take of these species within 400 metres of any pier, jetty, wharf or breakwater
  • Require these species to be landed whole so they can be measured by Fisheries Officers

To support the introduction of the new rules this spring, dedicated Victorian Fisheries Authority officers will undertake Operation Liberty to educate anglers on the water and encourage responsible fishing. More signage will be erected on piers around Port Phillip, Western Port and along Victoria’s coast to raise awareness amongst the fishing community, promote the new rules and illustrate good handling practises.

Existing fishing regulations will continue to require anglers to return unwanted or undersize species to the water with the least possible injury.