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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Wednesday 15 March 2023

Busted for use of illegal fishing gear and taking marron out of season

In the early hours of a Sunday morning in late February (26 February) compliance officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) conducted a joint operation with Lancelin Police, to apprehend targeted offenders fishing for marron in the Moore River.  

DPIRD compliance officers worked with WA Police on the operation

The bust came three weeks after the 2023 marron season had closed. Western Australia’s unique recreational marron fishery is particularly fragile due to the limited area and population for this freshwater crayfish species. The use of traps and other illegal gear as well as fishing outside the season requires round the year monitoring by DPIRD compliance officers.  

Find out more about the limited season that applies in the Marron recreational fishing guide.

DPIRD officers are continuing investigations into the extent of the illegal fishing uncovered along the Moore River last month. The fishers were busted with more than 30 pieces of fishing gear and were fishing out of season, which makes any marron fishing activity illegal.

 Some of the gear and marron seized in the bust along Moore River

During the designated marron season, the only legal methods for taking marron in the Moore River are by scoop net. One wire basket crab scoop may be used per licensed fisher, but any wire baskets require a maximum of six vertical wires and a maximum of 75 individual rectangles. Up to six drop nets per licensed fisher may be used and those nets must have a rigid marron mesh base (mesh dimension must be 32mm by 80mm or greater). One bushman’s pole snare may be used per licensed fisher, but snares must be self-tightening only and this means there must be nothing attached to the pole to enable a person to open or close the noose. All other fishing gear, including any type of trap, is illegal.

Supervising Fisheries and Marine Officer Alistair Mclean said the joint patrol came across the illegal marron fishing scene around 2.30am on a Sunday morning and evidence was still being gathered by DPIRD officers on a range of suspected fishing offences.    

“The marron fishery is also subject to environmental pressure, which reinforces the need for careful management and significant penalties, so offenders should expect to be prosecuted for fishing outside of the marron season and using illegal gear.”  

Anyone who suspects illegal fishing activity should call FishWatch on 1800 815 507 or tell us about what you’ve seen via the online form on Crimestoppers. It’s recommended you do not approach anyone you think is involved in illegal activity involving fishing. However, by reporting your concerns you will be helping to protect WA's fish resources for future generations.

Last modified: 15/03/2023 2:32 PM

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