Illegal netter nabbed on South Coast

COVERT surveillance by NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) fisheries officers has uncovered a man illegally using a 68 metre meshing net on the Tuross River.

DPI Acting Director Fisheries Compliance, Patrick Tully, said the Tuross River has been protected from commercial fishing since 2002 when it was declared a recreational fishing haven, a status it shares with 29 other estuaries in NSW, which is designed to provide quality recreational fishing opportunities.

“Last week fisheries officers conducted covert surveillance of a man on the Tuross River system and will allege they witnessed him setting a meshing net in the water,” Mr Tully said.

“Fisheries officers then recovered the net and interviewed the man in relation to the incident.

“Fisheries officers seized the 68 metre meshing net and a 7.3 metre oyster punt, which was allegedly used to set the net.

“The use of meshing nets in these waters is strictly prohibited.”

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The 54-year-old man from the South Coast is expected to be charged with several offences including possessing illegal fishing gear, and the unlawful use of a net.

“If convicted of the offences the man could face fines of up to $44,000 and or 12 months imprisonment, as well as losing his boat,” Mr Tully said.

“This incident demonstrates that any person who thinks they can flaunt the law may find themselves before the courts and facing heavy penalties.”

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Recreational fishers are not permitted to use or possess commercial fishing gear in, on or adjacent to any NSW waters.

Anyone who suspects illegal fishing can contact the Fishers Watch phoneline on 1800 043 536 or lodge a report online through the DPI Fisheries NSW website:

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