$4800 fine for fishing offences

A man and a woman have been fined a total of $4800 for multiple fisheries offences in the Wentworth Local Court this week.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Compliance Manager Glenn Tritton said a NSW DPI Fisheries Officer conducted surveillance of illegally set lines in the Murray River near Mildura on 21 August 2007.

A 42 year old man and a 39 year old woman, both from Victoria, were apprehended after they had checked the lines.

“The NSW DPI Fisheries Officers seized ten silver perch, which are a threatened species and totally protected in rivers, six set lines which were set with a total of 12 hooks, and a keeper net plus two other fish,” Mr Tritton said.

“They were each charged with using live finfish for bait, using excess lines, using excess lines with more than one hook, using unmarked fishing lines, possessing prohibited size fish and possessing vulnerable species.

“Both persons were fined on each of the six charges, individually totalling $2400 with court costs of $73. Each person was also required to pay professional costs of $250.”

The maximum penalty for possessing a vulnerable species such as silver perch is $55,000 or imprisonment for one year or both.

NSW DPI Supervising Fisheries Officer Peter Tilbrook said that illegal set lines exerted excessive fishing pressure on fish populations and they were indiscriminate in what fish and other animals they catch. Set lines were banned in NSW waters in 2007.

“NSW DPI regards offences involving the protected species silver perch as very serious,” Mr Tilbrook said.

“Some of the silver perch had a hook through them and were being used as live bait.

“In most parts of the State, Silver perch have significantly declined in numbers and are listed as vulnerable and are at risk of becoming endangered if their decline is not halted.”

Information on freshwater fishing rules can be found in the DPI freshwater fishing summary and guide available from NSW DPI Fisheries offices, most places where NSW recreational fishing licences are sold, and the NSW DPI website at: