Victorian Shellfish poachers have car and gear seized

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Image: Fisheries VIC

A MELBOURNE couple is facing heavy fines, and have had their car and illegally obtained shellfish seized, after allegedly being caught at Lakes Entrance with more than 1100 oysters and 20 litres of mussels.

The catch limit for oysters is 50 per person per day. The catch limit for mussels is 10 litres per person per day.

Senior Fisheries Officer Bill McCarthy said it would be alleged the 1161 oysters seized represented nearly 12 times the combined legal catch limit.

The pair allegedly travelled from their Croydon Hills home to Lakes Entrance on Monday and spent the day using a hammer and chisel to collect the shellfish from the rock wall on Kalimna foreshore.

Neither of them were in possession of a recreational licence which is required to collect shellfish.

It’s also alleged one of them resisted the officers and created a hindrance when the vehicle was being seized.

They were interviewed and released, to be charged on summons to appear in a Magistrates Court.

The couple can expect to face Fisheries Act charges relating to exceeding the catch limit which carries fines of up to $3033.

Fishing without a licence can cost as much as $758 and hindering an authorised Fisheries Officer could means fines of up to $7583, or three months jail.

The acting director of Fisheries Victoria, Bob Hutton said our precious fish resources were there for all to enjoy.

“We enforce the catch limits so we can all do just that. Selfish people who choose not to respect our fish will face the weight of the law.” Hutton said.

People who see or suspect illegal fishing activity should call the fisheries offence reporting line 13FISH (133474).

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