16 Nov 2017
A father and son from Fairfield have been ordered to pay more than $16,000 in fines and costs, after recently being found guilty of breaching a number of fishing rules and regulations while fishing in Lake Illawarra.
NSW Department of Primary Industries Supervising Fisheries Officer, Emma Corfield said the two men were convicted of exceeding the possession limit of whelks and cockles, being in possession of prohibited size blue swimmer crabs and crabs carrying external ova as well as for failing to pay the Recreational Fishing Fee.
“On Sunday, 14 February 2016, fisheries officers inspected a vessel adjacent to the Windang boat ramp and found a total of 638 whelks, 386 cockles and 42 blue swimmer crabs on board,” Ms Corfield said.
“Of the 42 blue swimmer crabs, 23 were measured below the prescribed minimum size of 6 cm (carapace shell) and 12 of the blue swimmer crabs were carrying external ova (eggs).
“Officers seized the excess catch and issued the men, aged 52 and 30, with court attendance notices.”
In August 2017, both men failed to appear before Wollongong Local Court and were convicted on all charges in their absence. A warrant for their arrest was also issued.
“Both men have since appeared in Wollongong Local Court, where they were issued with fines and costs totalling $16,589.50,” Ms Corfield said.
“The son had previous convictions of fishing offences. The father was a first time offender.
“The son was fined a total of $3,700 and ordered to pay professional costs of $5,902, while the father was fined a total of $2,700 and ordered to pay professional costs of $4287.50.”
Illegal fishing risks the sustainability of the resource for legitimate recreational and commercial fisheries. People found illegally fishing can expect severe consequences.
Anyone with information on suspected illegal fishing activity is urged to contact their local Fisheries office, call the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536 or report illegal fishing activities online.
Media contact: Jamie, 6391 3686