Snagged linetriggers cray pot warning

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Sarah IsonBusselton Dunsborough Times

Commercial crayfisher Mark Jackman’s close-call with a heavy tangle of lead and hooks has spurred a timely reminder of fishing etiquette in the lead-up to the recreational rock lobster season.

Mr Jackman was pulling his cray pots off Cape Naturaliste late last month when his winch pulled up the tangled mess.

The Yallingup resident told the Times commercial winches pulled cray pots at such a speed snagged lines presented significant risks.

“It could have almost been a fatal accident,” Mr Jackman said.

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“All the hooks and lead smashed up the winch and very nearly hit me in the head.”

With the recreational rock lobster season just beginning, Mr Jackman said it was important that people knew the “right thing to do” in these circumstances.

“While it’s illegal to mess with cray pots, we really need fishermen who get snagged near them to tie a knot or a piece of material on the buoy, just to give a heads-up to the commercial fishermen who are unfortunately put in danger when hooks and lines get caught,” he said.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development — then Fisheries — distributed advice on correct practices in April.

“Should your fishing tackle become snagged on a rock lobster pot, take a minute to warn rock lobster fishers of the hidden hazard by simply tying a tag or a rag to the pot float line, or tying the pot’s floats together,” the advice said.

Recreational rock lobster fishing opened last Saturday and will run until July 1.

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