Seized ves­sel on visit to re­gion

Pilbara News - - News -

A seized fish­ing ves­sel, which has been used as an ed­u­ca­tion tool across the South West, is head­ing north to share the mes­sage in the busy dry sea­son.

In sum­mer, the De­part­ment of Fish­eries held Oper­a­tion Ba­gana to draw the public’s at­ten­tion to il­le­gal fish­ing and gear tam­per­ing ac­tiv­i­ties which have been preva­lent in the west­ern rock lob­ster fish­ery.

Now as win­ter sets in, the seized ves­sel, which has been a cen­tre­piece of the cam­paign, is in our neck of the woods.

The ves­sel and its trailer were seized and for­feited to the de­part­ment and its owner was fined tens of thou­sands of dol­lars for a range of recre­ational fish­ing of­fences, in­clud­ing in­ter­fer­ing with other fish­ers’ gear.

De­part­ment of Fish­eries north­ern com­pli­ance man­ager Stu­art McDowall said the ves­sel would act as a re­minder to fish­ers that they risked los­ing their boat and fish­ing gear for se­ri­ous fish­ing of­fences. “We know that the ma­jor­ity of fish­ers do the right thing,” he said.

“How­ever, some have suf­fered from il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties and when recre­ational or com­mer­cial fish­ers set their gear, there’s noth­ing worse than find­ing, or even sus­pect­ing, they have been raided by some­one else.

“Hav­ing gear raided, tam­pered with or stolen sig­nif­i­cantly di­min­ishes the re­turn on in­vest­ment and en­joy­ment of fish­ing.”

Pic­ture: De­part­ment of Fish­eries

The seized ves­sel is com­ing north.

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