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NSW Illegal Fishers Face $60,000 in Fines


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Taken from Fishing World email newsletter

11 Nov 2013

ILLEGAL fishers in NSW have been handed fines and courts costs totalling nearly $60,000 over the last two months, said Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Acting Director of Fisheries Compliance, Tony Andrews.

Andrews said five matters had appeared before local courts across NSW since September 2013 for a range of offences.

Summary of the five local court results:

• Two men aged 48 and 49 from Fairfield were found illegally using a mesh net in a Recreational Fishing Haven in the Georges River in Sydney as part of a targeted night patrol by fisheries officers. Fisheries officers found the net set across Prospect Creek and conducted covert surveillance of the net for several hours before a boat containing the two men approached. Fisheries officers witnessed the men retrieving the net.

The 4.75 metre net was seized along with 15 fish. The men appeared in Liverpool Local Court to answer three charges each relating to unlawfully using a net, possessing prohibited size fish and possessing fish taken illegally. They were each fined $5,000 for each offence and ordered to pay $1,000 each in legal costs. TOTAL = $32,000. Note: this matter is subject to the appeal process.

• A 53 year old man from Bermagui was found in possession of more than the daily limit of Eastern Rock Lobster at Murunna Point at Bermagui on two occasions. The man appeared at Batemans Bay Local Court and found was guilty for two counts of possession of more than the daily limit for Eastern Rock Lobster and obstructing a fisheries officer. He was fined $2,000 for each offence totalling $6,000, ordered to pay $6,000 in court costs and placed on a further good behaviour bond. TOTAL = $12,000 + good behaviour bond.

• A 27 year old man from Noraville was inspected by fisheries after diving in Cabbage Tree Bay at Norah Head, north of Newcastle. The man was inspected to be found in possession of 14 prohibited sized abalone and 40 mollusc shellfish. The man appeared in Wyong Local Court to face charges in relation to the taking of abalone in closed waters, possession of a commercial quantity of abalone, possession of prohibited size abalone, possession of more than the daily bag limit and failing to pay the Recreational Fishing Fee. The man was found guilty for face offences and fined a total of $2,500 and $900 in courts costs. TOTAL = $3,400.

• A 49 year old commercial fisher was inspected on his way home from a night's fishing on Wallis Lake on the State’s mid north coast. On inspection fisheries officers found 153 prohibited sized sand whiting in the fisher’s licensed fishing boat, along with a garfish net that was used to take the fish. It is illegal to retain fish other than garfish from the net that was used. The man appeared at Forster Local Court where the man pleaded guilty for possession of prohibited sized fish and possession of fish illegally taken. He was fined $3,850 for the two offences including court costs. TOTAL = $3,850.

A 28 year old man from Bulli was observed by fisheries officers diving in the waters off Waniora Point, Bulli. As the man exited the water fisheries officers attempted to inspect his catch at which time the man he dropped his diving gear and catch and ran from the officers. Fisheries officers seized 10 abalone and two prohibited sized lobsters and investigated the matter to reveal the man’s identity.

The man appeared in Wollongong Local Court to face charges of possession of more than the maximum quantity for fish in circumstances of aggravation, possession of fish taken contrary to a fishing closure, possession of prohibited sized fish, failing to pay the Recreational Fishing Fee and obstructing fisheries officers. He was fined $7,500 for the five charges and ordered to pay $990 in court costs. TOTAL = $8,490.

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