Pirie fishing restrictions will stay for another year

Not allowed: A map of the areas where fishing restrictions are in place. Map: PIRSA

Not allowed: A map of the areas where fishing restrictions are in place. Map: PIRSA

Fishing restrictions in waters near Port Pirie have been extended for another 12 months.

This week the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) announced that it would be sticking with the restrictions put in place from last year.

Put in place in September 2020 after the release of a scientific study into heavy metals in sediment in the area, the restrictions have been extended for another year while SA Health complete an in-depth analysis of sample results.

PIRSA Executive Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Gavin Begg said the extension of the restrictions was a precautionary step.

Port Pirie Mayor Leon Stephens said he was disappointed with the decision.

"When we were first notified by PIRSA and the minister we started seeking more answers as to why," he said. "It is going to be worked on, and it is going to be resolved to the best of our ability."

Mr Stephens said that council discussions with SA Health indicated that a report will be produced by November, with potential easing of restrictions if the report is positive next year.

A Nyrstar representative said that they will continue to consider opportunities to help the situation improve. "Nyrstar recognises the significance of recreational fishing to the broader community and looks forward to the ban being lifted in due course."

Recreational fishers are permitted to catch and release fish, but prohibited from taking crabs, fish and shellfish for consumption: The zones:

Zone 1 - waters south and west of Weeroona Island Boat Ramp and including First Creek, Second Creek and Port Pirie River.

  • All species, including all molluscs, crustaceans and fish, must not be taken from this area. Catch and release fishing is permitted.

Zone 2 - waters in the Port Germein area, extending north and west from Weerona Island Boat Ramp.

  • Bivalve molluscs, e.g. oysters, mussels, scallops and razorfish, must not be taken from this area.

It is understood that PIRSA cannot legally introduce a permanent ban.