Netter nabbed over illegal trevally haul

A NSW south coast commercial fisherman is to face court after attempting to sell a large quantity of prohibited size silver trevally at the Sydney Fish Market prior to Christmas.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Director of Fisheries Compliance, Glenn Tritton, said a large number of silver trevally, suspected of being a prohibited size, were located in December during a routine patrol of Sydney Fish Market.

“Inspection of a consignment of 45 bins of silver trevally weighing more than 1100 kilograms revealed that the vast majority of the fish were allegedly of a prohibited size,” Mr Tritton said.

“Following subsequent investigations, a south coast fisherman authorised to trawl in NSW waters will be issued with a Court Attendance Notice to appear in court for selling prohibited size fish.

“This is a serious offence that could result in a $22,000 fine and/or six months imprisonment.”

General Manager of the Sydney Fish Market, Bryan Skepper said Sydney Fish Market applauds the work of DPI in stamping out illegal fishing practices.

“We will continue to work closely with DPI to ensure all product received and sold through the market is done so legally,” Mr Skepper said.

Mr Tritton said fisheries officers routinely conduct random inspections of commercial fisher’s catches at sea, at port and at seafood wholesale and retail outlets.

“Commercial fishers are subject to size limits on specific species of fish and face tough penalties if they breach these limits,” he said.

“There is absolutely no excuse for a commercial fisher to be marketing prohibited sized fish, particularly in the quantities alleged in this case.

“The good news in this case is that by donating the fish to Oz Harvest Food Rescue they were not wasted.”

Tom Sawkins from OZ Harvest Food Rescue said the donation of more than a tonne of fish was greatly appreciated by many local charities.

“We were able to provide disadvantaged people in Sydney with fresh seafood around the Christmas holiday period,” Mr Sawkins said.

Glenn Tritton urged members of the public to report any suspected illegal fishing activity by submitting a confidential online report on the DPI website report illegal activity page or calling the Fishers Watch phoneline on 1800 043 536.

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