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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Thursday 25 January 2018

Fish caught recreationally must not be stored at commercial seafood premises

​There was a lesson in Fremantle Court this week for restaurateurs about the need to separate business from pleasure and never to store recreationally caught fish on commercial premises that deal with seafood.

On Monday (22 January) Aristidis Aaron Papandroulakis and Sunspan Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to offences that occurred in March and April of 2015 at the former Aristos Waterfront Rottnest restaurant, which was where Fisheries and Marine Officers seized a quantity of recreationally-caught rock lobsters from a tank in the dining area. In the kitchen, the officers also located two tailor that had been caught recreationally. 

Whilst Fisheries officers were conducting surveillance, leading up to the inspection of the restaurant, they had observed Papandroulakis transferring recreationally caught rock lobster to the restaurant.

In court, 52 year-old Papandroulakis from Cottesloe and Sunspan Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to multiple charges of possessing, at a commercial premise, fish taken for a recreational purpose.

Other recreational fishing offences Papandroulakis pleaded guilty to committing, in January, March and April of 2015, included pulling too many recreational lobster pots and failing to tail clip or tail punch the rock lobster within the allowed time. Recreationally caught rock lobster must be tail clipped to distinguish them from commercially caught lobster.

All up, Papandroulakis and Sunspan Pty Ltd were ordered to pay fines, court costs and mandatory additional penalties amounting to a total of $10,810.

The magistrate also suspended Papandroulakis from holding a recreational rock lobster fishing licence for six months and ordered forfeiture of seven seized rock lobster pots.     

Fisheries and Marine Officer with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Liam Plant said the case clearly showed that recreational fishing activity should be separated from commercial seafood operations.

“Recreational fishing catches cannot be stored at commercial premises that deal with seafood,” Mr Plant said.

“Anyone who has information on any suspected illegal fishing activities should call the FishWatch reporting line 1800 815 507. Information can be provided confidentially.

“By reporting what you see you will be assisting Fisheries officers in protecting WA's fish resources now and for future generations.”

Last modified: 25/01/2018 2:01 PM

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