Bass and EP netter to face court

A NSW CENTRAL Coast licensed commercial fisher will appear in court after allegedly committing a number of offences, including the serious offence of taking protected fish.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Director of Fisheries Compliance, Glenn Tritton, said fisheries officers apprehended the man in his licensed fishing boat on Mooney Mooney Creek.

“DPI fisheries officers allegedly found that the commercial fisher had taken 25 estuary perch and one Australian bass in his commercial set nets and that the fish were on board still meshed in the nets,” Tritton said.

“A total of 15 prohibited size fish of other species were also allegedly meshed in the nets, which were retrieved from the water more than a kilometre upstream from where he was stopped.

“The fisher is alleged to have failed to take immediate steps to return the prohibited sized fish to the water with the least possible injury. He was also alleged to have been using incorrectly marked mesh nets and although currently licensed and endorsed, he could not produce a current fishing authority.

“The maximum penalty for the range of offences detected exceeds $150,000 and up to six months imprisonment.”

Tritton said fisheries officers are currently targeting the illegal taking of Australian bass and estuary perch due to their current abundance during spawning migration.

“Australian bass and estuary perch generally inhabit the upper reaches of estuaries but during the winter months both species migrate into downstream waters to spawn, making them vulnerable to capture by commercial fishers using meshing nets,” he said.

“To ensure the sustainability of these fish, they are completely protected from all commercial fishing activities and have a zero bag limit for recreational fishers each year during the spawning period from June 1 to August 31. Either species caught during this period by commercial or recreational fishers are to be returned to the water immediately with the least possible harm.”

Anyone with information about illegal fishing activity is urged to call their local DPI fisheries office or the Fishers Watch line on 1800 043 536, or complete the online report form at

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