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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Thursday 15 December 2022

Two men ordered to pay more than $15,000 each for rock lobster fishing offences

A case heard in the Rockingham Court this month (2 December) provides a strong warning against breaching Western Australia’s rock lobster fishing rules.

Ahead of Christmas last year, a 40-year-old Wagin man was spotted unloading a large white sack off a boat near Shoalwater Bay. The man had been attempting to illegally bring ashore 52 live and non-tail clipped western rock lobsters and one rock lobster tail - which is 45 lobsters over the limit.

The daily bag limit for western rock lobster is eight. It is an offence for a person to take or bring onto land on one day more fish than the bag limit of those fish.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) compliance officers stopped a vehicle which had picked up the man from the beach, in which they located the bag and the 53 rock lobsters. None of the lobsters had been tail clipped or tail punched as required.

After checking and recording the evidence, the officers released the lobsters back into the ocean.

A second team of DPIRD compliance officers inspected the boat involved later that morning.

The master of the boat, a 44-year-old Waikiki man, with two other passengers aboard, had a further 24 live lobsters that had all been tail-clipped. The court heard that the master had also admitted to making the arrangements to have the Wagin man picked up from the beach. 

Neither of the men appeared in court, but the master of the boat entered an endorsed plea of guilty. The magistrate ordered both men pay to $15,389.30 each for their offences. 

DPIRD’s Director Regional Compliance Metro, Todd A’Vard said where a boat is used in connection with the recreational take of rock lobster, it is a requirement to tail clip or tail punch the kept rock lobsters within five minutes of bringing them onto the boat.

“Tail clipping or punching is important in identifying the lobsters were caught recreationally,” Mr A’Vard said. 

“This case is also a reminder that if a person commits a fishing offence, the master of a boat involved in the offence can also be charged with committing the same offence.”

If you see something unusual that you think may be illegal fishing activity, please call and report your concerns to FishWatch 1800 815 507, or lodge information about what you’ve seen in the online form on Crimestoppers.


Last modified: 20/12/2022 9:53 AM

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