Fish seized after men caught red handed in Bermagui Recreational Fishing Haven

May 2009: Two men are facing individual fines totalling up to $140,000 for allegedly using illegal fishing gear in the waters of the Bermagui River Recreational Fishing Haven, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Compliance Manager, Glenn Tritton, said today.

The men, aged 52 and 25 from Bermagui were apprehended by NSW DPI Fisheries Officers as a part of an extended patrol with the Fisheries Patrol Vessel “Sydney Swan”.

“DPI Fisheries Officers apprehended the men who were allegedly using a fish trap for the purposes of collecting bait for a commercial fishing business,” Mr Tritton said.

“It will be alleged that the fishing trap was found to contain a total of 62 Silver Trevally of which 42 were of prohibited size, and 3 Luderick, all of a prohibited size.

“The trap was allegedly set in the waters of the Bermagui River, which is a Recreational Fishing Haven.

“That means all bays, tributaries, creeks, canals and artificial lakes within that area are closed to commercial fishing.

“The purpose of these areas is to improve opportunities for recreational fishing in key areas of significance to recreational fishers.

“NSW DPI Fisheries Officers seized all of the Silver Trevally and Luderick, as well as the fish trap.
“The men will be prosecuted for a number of offences, including possess prohibited size fish, take fish in breach of declaration and unlawful use of trap.

“Illegal fishing threatens the sustainability of fish stocks and our DPI Fisheries Officers will continue to target high risk offenders and initiate prosecution actions where offences are detected.

Fishers should contact their local DPI fisheries office or go to the website, www.dpi.nsw.gov.au to ensure they are up to date with fishing laws including the locations of Recreational Fishing Havens.

Information relating to illegal fishing should be immediately reported to the Fishers’ Watch Phone Line on 1800 043 536.