17.3 C
Byron Shire
April 18, 2021

Call for fishing ban in Ballina’s Shaws Bay

Latest News

Head-on crash car traveling in wrong direction

Police say that two men are in hospital after an accident on the M1 overnight, when emergency services responded to reports of a crash involving two cars near Clothiers Creek

Other News

$1500 council fee rebates for farmers

NSW Farmers commends the NSW Government on its delivery of a rebate scheme for NSW and local government fees and charges, following its $500 million commitment in the State Budget last year.

Electricity ‘fun facts’

Anonymous, Ballina I’m surprised that a part of David Lowe’s online article of March 15 slipped under the fact-check radar (‘Tamara Smith...

Sally Flannery discovers dark side of ‘Lovemore’

Since declaring her interest in running for Lismore Council, local woman Sally Flannery has been subjected to sustained attacks, both online and upon her property.

Sprout lovers

Sprouts can sometimes be overlooked on the weekly grocery list… except for those in the know, of course!

Poor Council drains

Kate Anderson, Mullumbimby In response to and support of Kerry Gray’s and Robin Gracie’s letters Echo 31 March). The McGoughans Lane...

Tweed council adopts Jack Evans Boat Harbour plan

The Tweed Shire Council has announced that they have adopted the Plan of Management for the Jack Evans Boat Harbour precinct.

An estuary cod pictured at Julian Rocks. Photo John Natoli/julianrocks.net
An estuary cod pictured at Julian Rocks. Photo courtesy John Natoli/julianrocks.net

Matthew Cusack

The killing of a large estuary cod earlier this year in Shaws Bay has prompted Ballina resident Jan Brady to call for the bay to be made into a fishing free zone.

Jan told Echonetdaily that some members of council and even some anglers were getting behind her petition to ban fishing in Shaws Bay.

This support comes as Ballina prepares to host a Fishers for Fish Habitat forum in June.

Estuary cod is a threatened species which are protected in NSW by the Fisheries Management Act 1994.

Even a popular anglers’ website, westernangler.com.au, admits ‘a lot of estuary cod are caught accidentally by anglers seeking mangrove jack and barramundi in creeks or emperor over inshore reefs’.

Jan, who has been canvassing around Ballina recently, said she received around 80 extra signatures for her petition on Friday morning despite bad weather.

This did not count the signatures on petitions still on the counters of shops around the area including Shaws Bay takeaway and East Ballina newsagency.

Jan believes not enough is being done to protect the species, saying the signage informing anglers in Shaws Bay about which fish are protected is ‘inadequate’.

Jan says Shaws Bay could be a breeding area for the estuary cod and other protected marine species.

‘I have seen (estuary cod) babies this year, which I have not seen previously,’ she said.

‘I have also seen elegant wrasse, which are also protected.’

But Jan says she has also seen crab-traps in use and spear-fishing taking place in Shaws Bay, both activities are illegal in the area.

Ballina council’s website states that ‘the seagrasses in [Shaws] bay are regarded as some of the best in northern NSW.’

But it also says that Ballina is no longer such a fishing economy town as it was in the past, with less than five per cent of the population listed as working in the agricultural, forestry and fishing sectors combined.

Ballina is still a hot tourist destination: this year the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport catered for more than 41,000  passengers and undoubtedly many come for the fishing.

Ms Brady hopes that tourists will choose not to fish in Shaws Bay, however, saying ‘there are plenty of other good places to fish in the area.’

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Looks like a Nanny is at it again. The problem is not the small angler keeping to the already tight but fair laws, but with those that break them (spear gun fishermen, crabbers and those taking endangered species or under- and over-sized fish) and the lack of signage. I like fishing in places like Shaws Bay because it is far safer for me to do so than to go out to the deeper waters and even the rivers. What does more damage is the dirty folk that don’t take their rubbish home with them, notwithstanding that it doesn’t help that the council provides few bins around places like Shaws Bay. No-one seems to care about that.

    This is another example of our freedoms being systematically taken away by wowsers. I am all for the protection of our wildlife and their environments, marine or otherwise, and I play my part in the anti marine debris movement, but I learn most of my respect and deep love for nature by my freedom to explore it and participate in enjoying its bounties in various ways, including fishing. The jealous, greedy and undereducated seem to run things these days. What a sad world we’re in now because of them.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Housing crisis and Council

Avital Sheffer, Mullumbimby Population growth in this Shire is inevitable like it or not. Those who are being pushed out by the unfolding housing tragedy are...

Flawed plan

Kai Beijerbacht, Mullumbimby For those of you who haven’t been living under a rock, I’m sure you are aware of the ever-increasing housing shortage crisis in...

Affordable myth

Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads There is a ‘myth of affordable housing’ in Byron Shire. Well may councillors lament the lack of ‘affordable housing’ in Byron Shire but...

Midwife quits

Deb Walsh, Fernleigh It’s become untenable for me to continue working in hospitals. I have quit. I will be deregistered soon by my own choice. Working with...