10 Feb 2020
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries has cracked down on illegal fishing at the Entrance, issuing 39 penalty notices and handing out more than $10,000 in fines to those flouting the rules.
DPI Acting Director Fisheries Compliance, Tony Chen said that during the summer holiday period fishers are drawn to the channel connecting Tuggerah Lake with the ocean, with large numbers of sand whiting, yellowfin bream and tarwhine.
“Unfortunately some of these fishers are tempted to keep prohibited size fish and exceed bag limits and each year multiple calls are made to DPI Fisher’s Watch line from concerned members of the public witnessing this activity,” Mr Chen said.
“This summer more than 20 such reports have been received and since Christmas, DPI Fisheries has been conducting targeted patrols to deal with people fishing illegally.
“Teams of officers have patrolled the known areas of non-compliance day and night to locate and apprehend offenders.”
Mr Chen said fisheries officers had issued 39 penalty notices totalling $10,375 and 54 written warnings for minor offences. Most offences have been for possessing prohibited size fish and failing to pay the fishing fee.
“More than 320 fish have been seized including 143 tarwhine, 102 sand whiting and 52 yellowfin bream,” Mr Chen said.
“Two fishers found with 104 prohibited size fish and another found with 44 prohibited size fish are all expected to be summonsed to court. Another man who allegedly abused and threatened a Fisheries Officer will also be summonsed to court.
“We want people fishing here to abide by the rules and regulations – they are there to protect the marine environment for future generations, so everyone can come to The Entrance and enjoy fishing for years to come.
“People committing offences will be dealt with appropriately and we definitely do not tolerate threatening or abusive behaviour towards our hard working Fisheries Officers.”
If anyone suspects illegal activity in NSW, they should report it to the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536 or via the DPI Fisheries online Report Illegal Activity Form. These reports immediately send email and SMS notifications to officers in the area affected.
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