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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
​  Know the rules where you fish
Thursday 23 December 2021

Carelessness in a sanctuary zone can be costly

Five outcomes in the Exmouth Court this month are a reminder that Compliance officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) are keeping a close watch on fishing offences in the Ningaloo Marine Park.

Among the five men dealt with in the court on 14 December, the magistrate accepted a submission from a 67-year-old West Swan man that he had been careless and made a mistake, however he was still issued with $2,259.30 in fines and court costs.

The man, who was the master of a boat carrying prohibited gear in the Ningaloo Marine Park, had fishing rods with electric reels on board and fished in closed waters.

In another case, a 70-year-old man from Yangebup was ordered to pay a fine and costs of $759.30 for also fishing in closed waters in the marine park.
In other cases, heard on the same day, a Two Rocks man, aged 48, was fined over two offences of fishing in closed waters. His total court bill was $4,029.30.

Two other men were also fined for illegal fishing offences in Ningaloo Marine Park, as well as taking protected fish from park waters. A 23-year-old from Baldivis was ordered to pay $2,000 in fines and $829.30 in court costs and an Exmouth man, aged 24, was issued fines of $2,000 and $619.30 in costs.

Supervising Northern Region Fisheries and Marine Officer, Darren Schofield said DPIRD officers played an important role in the Ningaloo Marine Park overseeing fishing activity.

“The local community are also guardians of this environmental wonder, so we often receive valuable information about suspected illegal fishing activity,” Mr Schofield said.

“People who come here to enjoy this amazing part of the WA coast on holiday also need to stick to the rules and be aware of waters where fishing is not allowed.” 

More on the management of marine protected areas in WA is available on DPIRD’s Fisheries website and the fishing rules are in the Recreational fishing guide 2021.

Illegal fishing is a potential threat to sustainability, so FishWatch​ is available 24/7 ready to take calls from anyone with concerns or suspicions – call 1800 815 507 to report what you’ve seen.

The FishWatch reporting line is open 24/7 and your report is treated in the strictest confidence.

Last modified: 23/12/2021 11:01 AM

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