Do crime, pay fine – Illegal fishers sentenced

Illegal fishers are being reminded crime doesn’t pay, with four men facing court and forced to pay significant fines in a number of separate illegal fishing incidents along the NSW coast, NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSWDPI), Acting Director Fisheries Compliance, Dr Andrew Moriarty, said today.

In the first matter, a man from Sydney faced Port Kembla Local court, where he plead guilty to charges of possessing prohibited size fish, and possess more than the possession limit after he was apprehended by NSWDPI Fisheries officers at Maloneys Bay at Bass Point near Shell Cove.

“Fisheries officers observed the man diving in June last year, and observed him for some time where they saw him pass a bag of Abalone to another person waiting on the rock platform,” Dr Moriarty said.

“The man and the other person were intercepted, where the bag was found to contain 20 Abalone, all of which were below the minimum size of 11.7cm.

“Recreational fishers diving for Abalone must adhere to a daily bag and possession limit of 2.

“Abalone is a priority species and an important resource to NSW, and the courts take offences involving Abalone very seriously.

“The man appeared in Wollongong Local Court for sentencing and was fined $3000 for each offence. He was also ordered to pay $1750 in professional costs.”

In another matter, two men, aged 40 and 23 from Broadwater have been sentenced before the Ballina Local Court following a late night patrol of recreational fishers in ocean waters South of Ballina, found they were in joint possession of a commercial quantity of snapper and teraglin, many of which were undersized. The 40 year old was also found in possession of a Wobbegong shark, which is a prohibited species when found in possession for recreational fishers in NSW.

Both men plead guilty and were fined $2800 and $2300 respectively.

“Illegal fishing does not pay – those who continue to do the crime will continue to be brought before the courts to pay for their crimes,” Dr Moriarty said.

Report illegal fishing via the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536 or online at: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/compliance/report-illegal-activity

Saltwater recreational bag and size limits for NSW can be found at: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/recreational/fishing-rules-and-regs/saltwater-bag-and-size-limits

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