Netter nabbed in rec fishing haven

FISHERIES officers in NSW will continue to monitor illegal activity in Recreational Fishing Havens after a south coast man was found illegally using a commercial meshing net in the area.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Acting Director Fisheries Compliance, Tony Andrews, said after an extensive surveillance program, a 67 year old man was allegedly found using a meshing net in the waters of Mummaga Lake.

“The Kianga man was observed loading the meshing net into a canoe and paddling out into the lake,” Mr Andrews said.

“Fisheries officers apprehended the man as he was setting the 48 metre net, which was seized along with the canoe and paddle.

“Thanks to the quick and responsive action by fisheries officers, no marine life was killed or injured by the net.”

Mummaga Lake, was declared a Recreational Fishing Haven in 2002, an area which recreational fishing is the only fishing activity permitted. The lake is also listed as a habitat sanctuary zone as part of Batemans Marine Park.

Mr Andrews said the man is facing a number of charges, including:

· Fishing in waters protected from commercial fishing, which carries a maximum penalty of $220,000 and up to 21 months jail;
· Unlawful use of a net , which carries a maximum penalty of $44,000 and up to 12 months jail;
· And Possession of illegal fishing gear , which carries a maximum penalty of $44,000 and up to 12 months jail.

“The man may also face penalties on a charge of take, attempt to take fish in contravention of the zoning plan with a maximum penalty of $11,000,” Mr Andrews said.

“The use of commercial fishing gear, such as a meshing net, is heavily restricted throughout the State’s commercial fisheries and recreational fishers are not permitted to use or possess such gear in, on or adjacent to any NSW waters.”

Anyone with information about suspected illegal fishing activity is encouraged to call the Fishers Watch Phoneline on 1800 043 056.

Further information on fishing rules can be found in the NSW Recreational Fishing Guides online or at local bait and tackle shops.

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