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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Friday 23 June 2017

Lobsters land man in court

​A lobster fisherman has been fined almost $5000 plus court costs and had a 12-month licence suspension, imposed for interfering with fishing gear along with other fishing offences.

On Sunday (5 February, this year) the Perth-based fisherman was observed by Fisheries and Marine Officers interfering with a number of pots off the Jurien Bay coastline.

The surveillance operation also found the man, who was the only person aboard the vessel, had failed to properly identify his own lobster pots and floats.

On Wednesday (21 June) the court heard that the accused pulled more than 6 rock lobster pots on board his vessel in the same voyage whilst at Wire Reef, before he returned to the Jurien Bay Marina where he was intercepted by uniformed Fisheries and Marine officers.

A search of the man’s property seized five Western rock lobsters which were not tail-clipped, a requirement for recreationally caught lobsters.

The man, who failed to appear at the court hearing, was found guilty and fined $4990 for a total of six offences and was also ordered to pay court costs of $188.

The Rock Lobster endorsement on the 48-year-old’s recreational fishing licence was also suspended for a 12 months.

The fishing vessel, trailer and fish product was seized by Fisheries but the Magistrate declined to order the forfeiture due to the lack of prior history of offending, as well as the low value placed on the vessel.

Midwest/Gascoyne Region Compliance Manager Mick Kelly said the court outcome clearly shows that breaching fishing laws can be very expensive and that interference with fishing gear belonging to others is never acceptable.

“This offender has also now lost his rock lobster fishing privileges for 12 months,” he said.

“Our message has remained consistent this season that gear interference is not tolerated.”

Information on rules, limits and gear is available in the Recreational fishing for rock lobster guide, which can be found online at www.fish.wa.gov.au. The 2016/17 recreational rock lobster fishing season, South of North West Cape, ends next Friday (30 June).

People should call FishWatch on 1800 815 507 when they suspect any illegal fishing activity, so Fisheries Officers can follow-up on anyone who doesn’t follow the rules.

Last modified: 23/06/2017 4:28 PM

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