7 Nov 2017
Two men have pleaded guilty to multiple fisheries offences after being found in joint possession of approximately 240 litres of prawns, which were taken from Lake Wollumboola, Culburra Beach NSW.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) fisheries officers located the men at midnight on Friday, 11 December 2015.
DPI Supervising Fisheries Officer, Emma Corfield said officers seized the prawns and discovered the men did not hold current General Recreational Fishing Fee receipts. The men had also been using nets that did not comply with the regulation.
“The possession limit for prawns is 10 litres per person and the hand hauled prawn net used by the men had a section of mesh below the prescribed mesh size of 30 to 36mm,” Ms Corfield said.
“The men were both prosecuted for three offences under the Fisheries Management Act 1994.”
One of the men, a 30 year-old from Unanderra, had previously been issued with a field caution for a minor offence.
“He pleaded guilty in Wollongong local court on 28 September to possessing more than the possession limit, unlawful use of net and failing to pay fishing fee,” Ms Corfield said.
“He was fined a total of $4,000 and ordered to pay $2,517 in professional costs.”
The second man was a 22 year-old, first time offender, also from Unanderra.
“He pleaded guilty in Wollongong local court to charges of possessing more than the possession limit, unlawful use of net and failing to pay fishing fee,” Ms Corfield said.
“He was also fined a total of $4000 and ordered to pay $2,167 in professional costs.”
The heavy fines reinforce the need to be aware of the fishing rules and regulations that apply to recreational fishing such as bag & size limits, legal fishing methods, the use of traps and nets and adherence to other regulations.
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 1800 043 536 or report illegal fishing activities online.
Media contact: Katie (02) 6391 3686