Illegal fishing info ‘valuable’
Anglers are being urged to report any incidents of suspected illegal fishing activity to authorities instead of just posting gripes on social media pages.
Metal stakes suspected to have been used for illegal netting were found in Fields Creek in Nickol Bay late last month and posted on Karratha Facebook pages, but the Department of Fisheries says it has not been notified of the incident.
Department of Fisheries Karratha supervising fisheries and marine officer Mike Dunne said investigations were taking place after the department was alerted when questioned about the incident by the Pilbara News.
“There have been three reports of illegal netting to the department’s Fishwatch number so far this year in relation to the Pilbara area,” he said.
“An illegal netting offence detected in Port Hedland by Fisheries and marine officers will be before the South Hedland Court in October.
“Any information people provided about illegal fishing activity could be of value. Before people call they should make a note of how many people they saw ... what they were doing, where it happened ... the type of cars or boats, registration numbers and descriptions.”
Mr Dunne said information about when the incident occurred, who was involved if known, and the type of equipment being used was also valuable to investigations.
In another incident in late July, a large number of fish, mostly undersized, were dumped on a beach near Point Samson.
Mr Dunne said charges had been laid with regards to the matter.
“An investigation was conducted by Karratha Fisheries and marine officers and, as a result, a male person was issued with a $1000 infringement notice for the totally protected fish (undersize) that were dumped,” he said.
“This is a timely reminder to fishers that any totally protected fish, undersize or oversize, must be returned to the water immediately.”
Anyone with information on the suspected illegal netting at Fields Creek should contact FishWatch on 1800 815 507.
A large number of dumped undersize fish reported at Point Samson.