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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Thursday 5 March 2020

Giving false and misleading information to Fisheries officers leads to hefty fines

​When a Sunday fishing trip in last August had its sequel in Karratha Court recently, it brought home the message to two men that using someone else’s identity is not only illegal, it can also be costly.

All up, the men involved in the case have been ordered to pay $2151.80 – because one of them originally told Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development compliance officers that he was his brother and the other used the name of a friend’s partner as his own.

As the court heard, “the offence of giving a false name to fisheries officers is of a serious nature”. Providing false information not only makes the role of officers checking on compliance with the rules difficult, such falsehoods strike at the heart of the legislation.

Rules set out for Western Australia’s fisheries help in management of the long-term sustainability of the different marine and freshwater species, which make up our aquatic resources. DPIRD compliance officers are effectively the community’s representatives in enforcing the State’s fisheries legislation.

Karratha Court was also told officers who checked the vessel, when the two men returned to the Fortescue River Boat Ramp on 11 August last year, were dressed in full uniform. 

Two days later, the men, both from suburban Karratha and both aged 35, made admissions to having initially provided false details to the officers.

This green esky on the vessel the offenders were on was inspected by the compliance officers.

DPIRD Supervising Fisheries and Marine Officer at Karratha Michael Dunne said the overall fine and costs the pair have been ordered to pay was needed to send a strong message to deter others from giving false or misleading information to DPIRD compliance officers.
“Apart from the false information charge, one of the men was also found guilty of not having a Recreational Boat Fishing Licence nor a Rock Lobster Fishing Licence,” Mr Dunne said.

“As compliance officers we carry out our role in good faith and, for the most part we find that fishers understand that and do the right thing. However, when someone’s actions are deliberate and calculated to create a false belief, it undermines our State’s fishing laws.     

Find out more about WA’s fishing rules in the Recreational fishing guide.

Anyone who suspects illegal fishing activity should call FishWatch on 1800 815 507 to report what they’ve seen. It’s recommended you do not approach anyone you think is involved in illegal activity involving fish or fishing. However, by reporting what you see you will be helping to protect our State’s fish resources for future generations.

Last modified: 11/03/2020 3:01 PM

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