Snapper anglers encouraged to stick to limits

FISHERIES Officers in Victoria are reminding recreational anglers to obey snapper bag and size limits in Port Phillip Bay and Western Port this coming season.

Fisheries Victoria Executive Director, Travis Dowling, said “Operation Billit” would see Officers enforcing catch limits, checking fishing licences and educating anglers about fishing responsibly.

Fisheries Vctoria are reminding anglers to obey the rules this snapper season

“Snapper are an icon fish so it is important anglers fish sustainably by obeying the rules, knowing their limits and taking only what they need,” Mr Dowling said.

“Officers will be undertaking patrols in uniform and plain clothes, and from marked and unmarked vessels including jet skis, which are a new addition to the fleet this year.

“Inspections will occur aboard anglers’ vessels out on the water and back at boat ramps during the day and night.”

“Anglers who exceed limits can be issued on-the-spot fines of $433 per offence.

“Those concealing illegal snapper catches aboard should expect to have their vessel seized on the spot and for serious offences the courts can prohibit anglers from fishing altogether for periods of one year or more.”

Mr Dowling said fishing sustainably for snapper meant following a few simple rules:

  • Abide by the minimum size of 28cm and the bag limit of 10, of which only three can equal or exceed 40cm;
  • Land snapper whole so they can be measured by Officers if required;
  • It is illegal to multi-trip, which is making several fishing trips in one day, retaining the bag limit each time; 
  • It is illegal to fin-clip snapper tails to shorten their overall length;
  • No more than four lines are permitted per angler.

All of these rules are outlined in the Recreational Fishing Guide, which is available free from most good tackle stores or by downloading the free ‘Vic Fishing’ app for smartphones.

This season Fisheries Officers will be working closely with Maritime Safety Victoria officers to ensure anglers focus on safety, ensuring correct equipment is aboard and in working condition, staying well clear of ships while underway, not anchoring in shipping channels or fairways and encouraging boaters to check their vessels before heading leaving home.

The public can report suspicious or illegal snapper fishing by calling Fisheries Victoria’s 24-hour intelligence reporting line 13FISH (133474).

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