State-wide Easter operation nets illegal fishers

Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald today said state-wide compliance operation found most, but not all, fishers obeying the rules with 249 infringement notices issued.

“NSW DPI fisheries officers were out in force over the Easter long weekend with more than 4600 fishers checked,” Minister Macdonald said.

“And I’m pleased to report 90% were complying with the rules.

“However, 249 infringement notices were issued for a range of offences including failing to hold a recreational fishing license, illegal use of fishing gear and offences associated with bag and size limits.

“It’s extremely disappointing that people continue to flout the law.

“Some of the seizures made by fisheries officers included 970 molluscs on the North Coast and 85 abalone on the South Coast for being either undersized or exceeding the bag limit.

"Our State's fisheries are a community-owned resource.

“We all have a responsibility to protect and safeguard this natural asset for future generations.”

Minister Macdonald said a significant number of illegal set lines were also seized in inland waters.
“A significant range of equipment and fish have been seized as part of the operation across the state,” he said.

“It’s disappointing that time and time again, we’re getting people that completely disregard the hard work that’s going into sustaining our fisheries resources.

“Most of these rules have been in place for many years – so in most instances there’s just no excuse.

"Illegal fishing threatens valuable fish stocks, undermines licensed commercial fishers, sustainable recreational fishing and the regional economies they support.”

Information about NSW fishing rules and regulations in NSW can be found on the NSW Department of Primary Industries website.

Anyone witnessing illegal fishing activity should report it immediately to DPI Fisheries Officers or the Fisher’s Watch Line on 1800 043 536.