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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Wednesday 29 August 2018

When is a fish tour not a fish tour? When there's no licence for it!

​A Derby man has been fined $4,000 for two counts of conducting a fishing tour, whilst not being licensed to do so.

Derby Court recently (on 22 August) heard that 22-year-old Brady FERTCH was observed fishing from a recreational vessel with other people in May and June of 2017.

On Saturday 6 May last year, a vessel was inspected by Fisheries officers after Fertch and another person had been observed fishing from it in King Sound. The passenger stated that he had paid for a barramundi charter.

The following month, on Tuesday 13 June, Fisheries officers observed Fertch and two other people fishing from a boat at the Fitzroy River. When the vessel was inspected, one of the passengers told the officers they had paid $250 each for a fishing tour.   

The court heard that it is an offence for a person to use a boat to conduct a fishing tour for a commercial purpose, whilst not authorized under a Fish Tour Operators Licence or a Restricted Fish Tour Operators Licence.

Fertch pleaded guilty to both charges and was ordered to pay $4,000 plus $190.85 in costs.

Supervising Fisheries and Marine Officer Andrew Gatt said the fines indicate the seriousness of the offences and operating a fish tour without the appropriate licence.

“We urge members of the public to ensure the charter they are booking is with a licensed operator,” Mr Gatt said. “A licenced Fishing tour operator should have a current identification sticker affixed to the wheelhouse or prominent part of the vessel.”

The Fishing tour operators handbook for WA’s North Coast advises that Charter operators are required to hold a licence from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to run any fishing tour activity that affects fish stocks.

WA’s Fish Resources Management Act requires fishing tour vessels to be safety surveyed to operate under a licence. Passengers on unlicensed charters will be taking a risk if the vessels they are on have never been surveyed and do not have the required stability, flotation, condition or safety equipment of a surveyed passenger vessel.

Information on WA’s recreational fishing rules and limits is available in the Recreational fishing guide, which is also available on the department’s website.

Anyone who suspects illegal fishing activity of any kind is urged to call the FishWatch reporting line on 1800 815 507, so that Fisheries officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development can follow-up and investigate.

Last modified: 29/08/2018 3:22 PM

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