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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

​Forfeited quadbike and trailer

Thursday 27 August 2020

Big fines and penalties await those who break WA's fishing laws

    • ​More than 40 fishers across the State received fines and penalties of $430,000 to August this year
    • Offenders have forfeited fishing rights estimated at $7.5 million, boats and vehicles for breaching rules
    • Fisheries compliance powers are wide and focused on protecting WA's aquatic resources

Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley has warned that recreational and commercial fishers who flout the rules protecting Western Australia's inland and ocean fisheries can expect to pay a big price in fines and penalties.

Education and monitoring of our commercial and recreational fishing sectors by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) ensures that WA's aquatic resources are used in a sustainable and equitable manner.

Interfere with someone else's lobster pots and you could lose your boat; take trafficable amounts of fish and your vehicle could be seized, or have your fishing rights removed.

In June this year, a commercial lobster fisher lost fishing entitlements worth an estimated $7.5 million. More recently a recreational fisher forfeited his quadbike and trailer after he was caught taking marron out of season.

To mid-August this year 43 people were convicted in 28 prosecutions with magistrates' ordering they pay fines and penalties totalling more than $430,000.

DPIRD compliance officers have the power to issue infringements, which are the fishing equivalent of traffic tickets issued by Police, to remind people about rules and regulations.

Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley:

"The community can have confidence the McGowan Government is committed to detecting and acting on serious illegal fishing activity - for which, it is clear, penalties are considerable.

"This year's commercial lobster prosecution in late June was one of the most significant prosecutions for this very important WA fishery, in terms of the level of offending and the sentencing, which demonstrates just how seriously these matters are treated.

"Whether it's taking marron out of season or recreational fishers found with trafficable amounts of abalone, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's compliance officers are tasked with protecting these limited resources on behalf of all of us. 

"The community can play its part, if they become aware of, or suspect illegal fishing activity, by reporting the matter to the FishWatch on 1800 815 507. Reports are confidential."

Minister's office - 6552 5300

Last modified: 27/08/2020 12:46 PM

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