Ten new Fisheries Officers have been deployed across Victoria.
The new recruits were chosen from more than 700 applicants and bring the total number of fisheries officers and investigators operating across the state to 77.
The officers will help control illegal fishing in marine parks and substantially boost the capacity to protect inland and marine fisheries. They will also be able to educate the public on fishing rules and now have the power to enforce fishing laws through on-the-spot fines or via the courts.
The 10 new officers completed their training in July and have been deployed to Mallacoota, Traralgon, Melbourne, Apollo Bay, Horsham and Tatura.
During their 10-week training course, the recruits learnt everything from identifying illegal fishing gear, collecting evidence for court and handling small boats and four-wheel driving.
Six of the new recruits are funded by the state’s recreational fishing licence fees.