Illegal SBT catch seized at Portland

THREE men were detained by Fisheries Officers at Victoria’s Portland boat ramp on Anzac Day in relation to allegedly exceeding the catch limit for southern bluefin tuna.

DEPI Regional Fisheries Officer Paul Millar said a search of the boat allegedly revealed 10 southern bluefin tuna and an amateur lobster pot.

A bag/possession limit of two fish retained whole or in carcass form applies for southern bluefin tuna in Victoria.

“The men were questioned regarding allegedly exceeding the catch limit for southern blue fin tuna and possessing commercial fishing equipment.

“All the tuna and the lobster pot were seized,” he said.

“It is expected the men will be summonsed to appear at Portland Magistrate’s Court later this year.”

Mr Millar reminded anglers to be aware of the difference between southern blue fin tuna and albacore and adhere to the legislated catch limit of two southern blue fin tuna and five albacore.

“The vast majority of tuna and albacore anglers understand their target species and adhere to catch limits.

“Southern blue fin tuna is a Victorian priority species with specific catch limits and albacore [distinguished from southern blue fin tuna by their long pectoral fin] often school together and are caught at the same time.”

Mr Millar said inspections of tuna/albacore anglers will continue throughout the season.

He reminded anyone with any information about the illegal take of these species or any other illegal fishing offences is urged to contact the 13FISH hotline on 133 474.

More information on SBT regulations available HERE.

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