Hundreds of yabby traps collected, 5000 on target

Moves toward sustainable fishing practices have started in all forms, from changes to products and packaging to better catch and release handling, but a project is stepping out of the norm and turning illegal yabby traps into new fishing gear.

An Australian Christmas and fishing go together like ‘G’day mate’. The rising mercury and longer days are perfect for getting some well-deserved hours on the water with friends and family. A little time off also sees the average angler in the shed doing the yearly clean out.

If you’re decluttering and have a stockpile of old fishing gear, the Yabby Trap Round Up will save you from that extra dump run. OzFish’s Tackling Litter program aims to reduce waste and foster sustainable practices within the recreational fishing community.

The Yabby Trap Round-Up is an initiative of TierraMar (through its Ghostnets Australia program) in collaboration with OzFish Unlimited and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI). It calls for fishos across NSW to hand in their old opera house yabby traps, which will then be converted into new fishing products. This initiative helps the wider fishing community be part of the solution one trap at a time.

Drop off your old traps

Opera house-style yabby traps have been illegal in many states across Australia since 2021, with the use of open top nets a better alternative for supporting a healthy ecosystem.

This new legislation has meant many opera house traps sit unused and unwanted in the back of the garage. Since mid-2023, NSW Rec fishers have been taking a proactive step towards protecting the future of fishing by dropping their yabby traps at pop up collection events across the Mid-North Coast, Gunnedah and Dubbo.

By early 2024, OzFish aims to have collected 5000 traps, having already gathered several hundred. They are now calling on the community to get the last of the traps in for recycling. To help, OzFish has added more Trap Drop Spots over the next few months, including events in Port Macquarie and Marks Point. They have also established a free “Reply Paid” service through Australia Post to support those who can’t get to an event. In return, no matter which way you take part, you’ll get a brand-new Oar-Gee Plow lure.

The big trap give back

There are two easy ways to swap your yabby traps and have them recycled.

Option 1: Post your nets

Step 1: Safely remove the fabric net
Using scissors, carefully separate the fabric net from the metal frame of your yabby trap.

Step 2: Package the net
Place the fabric netting into an appropriately sized envelope or package. Remember, we only need the net, so please recycle the metal frame locally. Contact your local Council waste centres as they often provide free metal recycling services.

Step 3: Include your details
Inside the package, include a note with your name, address, email and phone number so we can send your free Oar-Gee lure to the correct location.

Step 4: Label and post
Label the package with the following address and take it to Australia Post to use the free ‘Reply Paid’ postage service:

OzFish Unlimited
Reply Paid 91075
Ballina NSW 2478

Option 2: Find a trap drop spot

Bring your old nets to an event with a Yabby Trap Drop Spot, and we’ll take care of the rest!

So this Christmas, get behind the Yabby Trap Round-Up. Dig into your shed, give it a clean and be a part of the movement to secure the long-term health of our waterways.



The Yabby Trap Round-Up program is an initiative of TierraMar in collaboration with OzFish Unlimited and the NSW Department of Primary Industries. It is also supported by BCF – Boating, Camping, Fishing.