Fishers on hook for breaking rules

Several fishers across the state have been caught flouting strict bag limits in recent weeks including a man with five times the daily bag limit of King George Whiting.

Recent detections by Fisheries Officers include:

  • On 6 August a 52-year-old man was found in possession of 52 King George Whiting at the Port Hughes boat ramp. The daily bag limit is 10 King George Whiting per person. All the fish and associated fishing gear were seized by the Fisheries Officers. The matter is being considered for prosecution.
  • On 4 August a 31-year-old man and a 45-year-old man were found in possession of 110 squid at the Ardrossan boat ramp. The daily bag limit is 15 southern calamari per person. The catch, two fishing rods, esky, scaling bag, squid jags and containers used to store squid were seized. The matter is being considered for prosecution.
  • On 7 August a 63-year-old man and 61-year-old woman were found at sea off Port Turton in possession of 24 King George Whiting. The daily bag limit is 10 King George Whiting per person. They were issued expiation notices which totalled $986 and the catch was seized.
  • On 18 July, a 35-year-old man was found in possession of 34 squid on the water near Port Augusta. The daily bag limit is 15 southern calamari per person. All the fish and associated fishing gear were seized by the Fisheries Officers. The matter is being considered for prosecution.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham condemned those who exceed the limits.

“Fishing rules such as daily bag limits are important to ensure long-term sustainability of our fisheries and anyone who breaks these are effectively stealing from all South Australians,” Minister Basham said.

“The Marshall Liberal Government takes our seafood sustainability seriously which is why earlier this year we increased penalties for fishing offences in response to years of pleas from the industry.

“The fishing community and the general public have little tolerance for those that blatantly break the rules and neither does the government. An increase in “on-the-spot” fishing fines has been long overdue with some remaining unchanged for 30 years and price of seafood has risen well above these penalties.

“Rogue fishers who are now caught doing the wrong thing will have a significant hit to the hip pocket. Those who exceed the limits can expect to be caught and expiations or court-imposed penalties of up to $20,000.

“Illegal or suspicious fishing activity can be reported to the 24-hour Fishwatch number 1800 065 522. Callers can speak to a Fisheries Officer and may choose to remain anonymous. Alternatively, reports of illegal fishing activity can be made through the SA Recreational Fishing Guide app, available via www.pir.sa.gov.au/recfishingapp.

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