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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Tuesday 8 August 2023

Father and son fined for illegal east Kimberley fishing activity

​A father and son from New South Wales have been ordered to pay more than $7,800 combined for illegal fishing activity in the East Kimberley late last year.

The men, aged 62 and 34, did not attend Wyndham Magistrates Court on 27 July for the finding. 

The father was issued a $1,500 fine and costs of $263.40 for being the master of a boat with illegal fish traps on board as it headed for the Lyne River, via Cambridge Gulf. The son was fined $1,000 and given a mandatory penalty of $240 for illegally caught mud crabs and costs of $264.30.

Wyndham Court was told the 34-year-old had set between five and seven fish traps in the Lyne River on 5 November and pulled the traps the same day. He admitted to catching two mud crabs which were returned to the water.

Three days later, his father was found in possession of 27 barramundi fillets, which was more than six times the possession limit, and attracted a fine and mandatory penalty of $4,599.30. 

WA’s possession limit for barramundi is two whole fish or four fillets. 

Compliance officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development uncovered the 23 excess fillets during an inspection of the catch at the Wyndham Caravan Park.

  The excess fillets uncovered and seized in the investigation

Officers also executed a search warrant at the caravan park on 12 November last year and seized a dozen fish traps from a sea container.

The magistrate ordered forfeiture of the fish traps in the court case.  
DPIRD’s Supervising Fisheries and Marine Officer in Kununurra Luke Kotys said thanks go to the concerned members of the public who reported the suspect fishing activity to Kimberley-based Fisheries Officers.

“It is against Western Australia’s fishing laws to use traps to take fish from oceanic waters, as well as any estuary, inlet, river, brook or stream,” Mr Koyts said. 

“Being in possession of illegal fishing gear on land adjacent to those waters is also an offence.”

Apart from direct reporting to DPIRD regional offices, FishWatch is available 24/7 for anyone to report illegal fishing – just call 1800 815 507 to report what you’ve seen, or, alternatively use the online form on Crimestoppers.

Travellers to the Kimberley should make themselves familiar with the general fishing laws that apply and the limits that apply for the species they are fishing and in what locations go to Western Australian recreational fishing rules​ on the Fisheries website, or check the Recreational fishing guide 2023

Last modified: 8/08/2023 12:19 PM

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