The last fortnight has seen two separate occasions where three men have been fined for possession of unlawful seafood and illegal fishing practices.
It’s times like these we need to praise and recognise the important work conducted at the Department of Fisheries to ensure the health and sustainability of our WA fisheries.
On April 16 a 38 year old man was seen to have discarded his catch of undersized Pink Snapper into the water before fleeing his fishing spot at North Mole when he realised Fisheries Officers were approaching him. In an inspiring turn of events, one of the officers followed and apprehended the man whilst the other dove into the water to recover the evidence!
The man was found guilty on October 18 and fined a total of $4993 for obstruction of Fisheries duties and the possession of 11 undersized Pink Snapper between 180mm and 200mm. The current minimum size for Pink Snapper is 500mm and a bag limit of 2 fish per person, all of this can be found on the Recfishwest App.
In another case to the North of Perth, two men were found to be illegally harvesting Abalone out of season from a coastal reef North of Moore River. Abalone are particularly vulnerable shallow reef dwellers and are totally protected North of Moore River due to recovering stocks from a marine heatwave in 2011.
On February 9 the two men were found in possession of 156 Abalone and fined a total of $5628 each on October 13. The seizure was made possible thanks to a tip-off from a vigilant recreational fisher. Abalone season kicks off on November 6 this year so have your licence ready and be sure to refresh yourself on size and bag limits and fishing times, for abalone information download the Recfishwest App.
Cases like these emphasize the importance of recognising our fishing environment as a shared resource that we need to care for together. FishWatch is the line to call to report any illegal fishing activities 24 hours a day on 1800 815 507. Whilst this number is not a call-out service, all reports are taken seriously. You can help by reporting evidence such as car and boat registrations and identifying features of suspected offenders.