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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Friday 11 August 2023

Hefty fines and licence loss for lobster gear interference

One thing law abiding fishers dislike more than just about anything else is finding their fishing gear has been tampered with, or it goes missing altogether.

A 40-year-old Karrinyup man has had his rock lobster fishing licence suspended for three years and is also prohibited from being on a boat fishing for lobster in that time.

In Perth Magistrates Court last Friday (4 August), he was also fined $4000 on two counts of unlawful interference with fishing gear, plus a $350 fine, and mandatory penalty of $150 for not tail clipping a rock lobster on his vessel as well as a further $500 for failing to have a valid gear ID on a lobster pot. 

All up he was ordered to pay $5,114.30 in fines, penalties, and costs.
His offences were recorded on 27 December last year with Fisheries compliance officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) inspecting the man’s vessel on return to the Trigg Point boat ramp.
The skipper held a recreational rock lobster licence, but another man on the boat did not.

Three lobster pots were located on board and one live rock lobster, which had not been tail-clipped as required under WA’s Rock Lobster fishing rules. 

Two of the pots had gear identification (ID) that was not registered to the skipper by DPIRD. The third lobster pot didn’t have a gear ID on its floats. 

  The lobster pot with no valid gear ID on the floats

DPIRD officers contacted the fisher registered with the ID number on the first two pots and were advised he had not given anyone permission to pull his pots, which he had set off Hillarys before Christmas. 

DPIRD Director Regional Compliance Metro Todd A’Vard said the case was a timely reminder for fishers that officer carry out patrols around WA and that it’s important to permanently mark gear IDs on floats and, where possible, on lobster pots to deter theft.  

In a second matter before the same court a 49-year-old Girrawheen man was ordered to pay $2,254.30 over offences related to illegal net fishing in waters off Heirisson Island on 14 February this year where he was in possession of black bream and mullet.      
   A DPIRD compliance officer inspecting the illegal haul of finfish

Mr A’Vard said the Swan River has been closed to netting for more than 30 years under a Closed Water Recreational Netting Restrictions Notice.

“Not only did the offender not have a recreational net fishing licence, he fished in closed waters and also breached the bag limit for black bream – the daily limit is six”, he said.   

Fishers can access bag limit information and other fishing rules online, via the Western Australian recreational fishing rules (to search by species or location). You can also check the Recreational fishing guide 2023 or contact a Fisheries office​ for assistance.

Last modified: 11/08/2023 1:39 PM

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