Restaurant owner fined for black market cod

A MAN has been fined $7,300, ordered to pay costs of $1220 and placed on a 12 month good behaviour bond after fisheries officers uncovered an endangered fish species, prohibited size fish and a quantity of fish in excess of possession limits at a Narranderra restaurant.

NSW Department of Primary Industries Director Fisheries Compliance, Glenn Tritton, said the conviction sends a strong message that illegal fishing activity including the possession of endangered species and the possession of commercial quantities of fish without prescribed records will be dealt with before the courts.

“Acting on information, fisheries officers conducted a search of a restaurant at Narrandera in February 2012 and located and seized 18 Murray cod, 23 golden perch and one trout cod,” Mr Tritton said.

“Trout cod are an endangered species and it is an offence to take, harm or be in
possession of them.

“The possession limit for Murray cod is four per person and the possession limit for golden perch is 10.

“The fish were found in two freezers on the premises and were believed to have been
purchased from persons engaged in illegal fishing activity from the Narrandera area.

“The taking of native inland fish for sale is strictly prohibited in NSW. This also includes the taking of yabbies.”

The 63-year-old owner of the restaurant appeared in the Narrandera Local Court in April
2014 and pleaded guilty. He was convicted and fined. He immediately lodged an appeal
on grounds of severity.

The appeal was heard at Griffith District Court on 17 June 2014.

“The court upheld the most serious charge of possessing the endangered trout cod and
confirmed the fine of $3,300.00,” Mr Tritton said.

“In addition, he was also fined for exceeding his possession limit of fish in circumstances of aggravation, and possession of prohibited size fish also in circumstances of aggravation.”


Trout cod found in a restaurant freezer by DPI fisheries officers.

The man was issued with fines which totalled $7,300 plus $1,220 professional costs and
was placed on a 12 month good behaviour bond.

Mr Tritton said it is important that trout cod remain protected.

“Trout cod were once widespread throughout the Murray Darling system but have declined over the last several decades and are at a critical stage of their recovery,” he said.

“The taking of the endangered species trout cod threatens the sustainability of this species which are still considered in danger of extinction.”

“Daily bag and possession limits are in place for a good reason and they ensure that
genuine recreational fishers can share the resource by being able to lawfully take a
reasonable number of each species.

“Any restaurant or other commercial establishment must have prescribed records for any fish on their premises in order to prove the fish were legally obtained.”

Information on fishing rules in NSW inland waters is available at 

Report any suspected illegal fishing activity to the Fishers Watch Phoneline on 1800 043 536 or directly to your nearest DPI Fisheries Office.

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