Man fined for trapping native fish

A 60-YEAR-OLD man has received fines and costs totalling $8435 for illegally trapping and taking 15 golden perch in the Murrumbidgee River, NSW.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Supervising Fisheries Officer Peter Tilbrook said fisheries officers observed the man checking the illegal fish trap in the waters of the Murrumbidgee River in October.

“The man, from Hay, was observed to illegally take 12 golden perch and two carp from the fish trap, before resetting the trap,” Tilbrook said.

“Fisheries officers apprehended the man and found him to be in possession of a total of 15 golden perch taken over two days of fish trapping. A further two fish traps were located.

“The fish and three traps were seized.

“The man appeared in Hay Local Court this month charged with using a fish trap, in possession of illegal fishing gear, fish taken illegally from a fish trap, take more than the daily limit of fish and exceed the possession limit of fish being golden perch.

“He was ordered to pay a total of $8435 including fines, professional and court costs.”

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Fish traps and drum nets are illegal fishing gear that can have devastating consequences on native fin fish populations.

These methods of fishing are viewed as indiscriminate and archaic, and were banned in New South Wales to reduce the high level of destruction that was being inflicted on native fin fish and non-target species such as turtles, waters rats and platypus and to ensure healthy and sustainable fisheries for future generations.

Freshwater native fin fish of New South Wales have been protected from all forms of commercial fishing methods since 2001.

“Fisheries officers will continue to target those individuals who choose to flaunt the NSW fishing rules and regulations, and call on those individuals who are considering using illegal methods to think twice,” Mr Tilbrook said.

“The public’s help is necessary to continue the fight to stop illegal fishing in the waterways of NSW.

“Please report illegal or suspect fishing activities to your local Fisheries Office or by contacting the Fishers’ Watch Phone line on 1800 043 536 or reporting online”

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