State crackdown on illegal fishing

NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson said the NSW Government takes illegal fishing seriously, with around 50,000 fishers checked by fisheries officers over the past 12 months.

“Fisheries officers have been out in force across NSW checking to see if our State’s fishers are complying with the fishing rules and regulations,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

In the past financial year officers detected around 6000 offences for fishers flouting the rules, which resulted in:

Over 2200 penalty notices; more than 200 matters successfully prosecuted in court; 33 jail sentences; and 26 bonds imposed.

“108 court imposed penalties were also issued including hefty fines of $14,000 to two men who were found illegally eel fishing near the Nambucca River,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

“A Queensland fisher was fined $35,000 after fisheries officers seized 232 illegally caught mud crabs consigned for sale at the Sydney Fish Market in a joint operation with Queensland officers.

“More than 52,000 fish and invertebrates were seized, including abalone, lobsters and cockles and pipis. Where possible, all were returned to the water alive while some consumables were donated to charity.

“Fisheries officers also seized 3100 items of fishing gear and equipment including boats, cars, meshing, hoop and cast nets, crab and yabby traps, and diving gear.”

“More than 3500 phone calls to the Fishers Watch Phone Line and online reports of illegal fishing were recorded.

“I am proud of the importance the general public places on securing our fisheries resources for the future of the next generation and the value of our precious environment.

“I commend the work of our fisheries officers, both inland and on the coast.

“Illegal fishing is serious, so don’t get caught doing the wrong thing. The rules and hefty penalties are in place for a reason,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

To report illegal fishing contact the Fishers Watch Phone Line on 1800 043 536 or visit

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