Fines for snap­per catch out of season

FOUR MEN AP­PRE­HENDED IN WARN­BRO SOUND

Kwinana Courier - - News -

ONE man who claimed to be sun­bathing as op­posed to fish­ing for pink snap­per at 4.30am will pay a share of thou­sands of dol­lars in fines along with his three fish­ing com­pan­ions.

Colin Jay Dom­ney, Travis Peter Fran­cis, Christo­pher Gakis and Joshua Adam Leeson were all con­victed in their ab­sence at Rock­ing­ham Mag­is­trates Court on Au­gust 28 after be­ing caught fish­ing out of season for pink snap­per in Warn­bro Sound in 2016.

Each man was charged with con­tra­ven­ing a pro­vi­sion of an or­der and fish­ing us­ing a boat with­out a recre­ational fish­ing li­cence.

The Fish­eries Prose­cu­tor said Fish­eries of­fi­cers at a van­tage point in Warn­bro Sound, on Novem­ber 23 at 4.30am, ob­served a small white boat an­chored over an ar­ti­fi­cial reef in Warn­bro Sound.

They watched peo­ple on board it pull aboard and re­tain a large pink snap­per fol­lowed shortly after by another catch of a large pink snap­per.

The boat then made its way to the Port Kennedy boat ramp where of­fi­cers im­me­di­ately ques­tioned those on board.

Of­fi­cers spoke to Dom­ney first who said he had not caught any pink snap­per and that in­stead he was fish­ing for sharks. Of­fi­cers searched the boat and found three pink snap­per hid­den in the floor of the boat.

Dom­ney then told the of­fi­cers he had caught them out­side of Warn­bro Sound.

Fran­cis told of­fi­cers he had not caught any pink snap­per be­fore later ad­mit­ting he had caught two pink snap­per.

Gakis told of­fi­cers at the ramp that he was not ac­tu­ally on board the boat be­fore chang­ing his story and telling of­fi­cers he was on board but only sun­bathing.

Leeson tried to leave, telling of­fi­cers he was also not on board the boat.

Ex­ten­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tions by fish­eries later lo­cated Leeson.

None of the men on board had a recre­ational fish­ing li­cence.

The max­i­mum penalty is $10,000 and an ad­di­tional $765.

Dom­ney had a prior con­vic­tion for il­le­gally catch­ing blue manna crabs.

Mag­is­trate Vi­vian Ed­wards is­sued fines to the men.

Dom­ney was fined $1500 and made to pay the $765; Fran­cis was fined $1000 and $765; Gakis was fined $1200 and $765 and Leeson was fined $1400 plus $765.

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