What a catch – joint operation targets illegal fisher in Western NSW

An illegal fisher has been apprehended during a weekend near Warren, following a joint operation between NSW Department of Primary Industries’ Fisheries officers and NSW Police Rural Crime Unit, Acting Director NSWDPI Fisheries Compliance, Dr Andrew Moriarty said today.

Two men, a 49 year old man from Dubbo and a 58 year old man from Wongarbon, were apprehended on Saturday 27 June 2020 on the Macquarie River, downstream of Warren following covert surveillance of the alleged offender.

“The ongoing investigation focussed on the use of setlines, and illegal fish traps and officers observed the men using a number of illegal fish traps from their camp at the river,” Dr Moriarty said.

“The men were seen to take nine Golden Perch and one Murray Cod, and were apprehended by NSW Fisheries officers with the assistance of NSW Police Rural Crime Investigator officers.

“Seven fish traps, nine Golden perch, one Murray cod, one grapnel (grappling hook as well as one of the offenders’ boat, motor and trailer were all seized during the operation.

“The men are both facing proposed charges under the Fisheries Management Act 1994 for unlawfully using traps and possessing fish illegally taken. The man from Dubbo is also facing an extra charge of failing to prevent fisheries offences while master of the boat.

“The maximum penalty for each offence is $22,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment.”

Dr Moriarty said the man is known to NSW DPI fisheries officers.

“Blatant disregard for fisheries rules and regulations have serious consequences,” Dr Moriarty said.

“Fisheries rules and regulations are in place to protect and conserve fish stocks and fishing opportunities for current and future generations, and this type of illegal fishing detracts from all the hard work fisheries officers, and the community do to ensure access to healthy fish stocks for the community of NSW.

“To report illegal fishing, call the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536 or report online via the FishSmart NSW app or at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au.”

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