Bait and berley and keeping SA free from aquatic diseases

Before you go fishing, make sure you are familiar with the bait and berley guidelines.

They include ongoing measures to keep Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) and White Spot Disease, which affects crustaceans such as prawns and shrimp, out of South Australia.

You can help limit the spread of aquatic disease and pests in South Australia's coastal waters and, hopefully, land a great catch!

  • Do not use Pacific Oysters or Abalone, even when dead.
  • Do not use leftover or uncooked seafood sold for human consumption, such as prawns, abalone, crabs or oysters. These products have the potential to spread aquatic diseases. It should be noted that these types of aquatic diseases have no impact on humans.
  • Do not use animal blood, bone, meat, offal or skin – these cannot be used for berley in South Australian waters. You must not use any part of the body of an animal (other than a fish, worm or insect) as berley within 2 nautical miles of the mainland or any island or reef that is part of South Australia and exposed at the low water mark.
  • Do not discard or store live oysters or their shells in SA waters. Dispose of them in landfill.
  • Bivalve shellfish (Oysters, Mussels, Razorfish, Cockles) cannot be taken from the Port River for any use including bait or berley.
  • When purchasing bait, check its origin. Imported bait should be labelled appropriately and requires treatment to deactivate potential exotic disease. Prawns and worms from a particular area in Queensland are required to be irradiated to prevent the importation of White Spot Disease into South Australia.

Appropriate bait and berley can be purchased from your local tackle shop or fishing store. Try local Sardines, Squid, Pipi, Cockles or Beach Worms. Remember, the fresher the bait, the more appealing it is to fish. Alternatively, try using artificial bait such as soft plastics and lures, which can be purchased from tackle shops.

Remember that under the Fisheries Management Act 2007, it is an offence to release or deposit exotic and / or aquaculture farmed species into the waters of South Australia. Fines may apply.

Still unsure or have questions? Call the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 065 522 for more information. The hotline is open 24-hour a day, 7-days a week.

Page Last Reviewed: 08 Aug 2018
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