Warn­ing to ‘fish thieves’

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion -

TWO west­ern sub­urbs se­niors have been fined for break­ing laws pro­tect­ing Rot­tnest Is­land rock lob­sters.

The De­part­ment of Fish­eries started Op­er­a­tion Ba­gana, tar­get­ing the crimes, this sum­mer.

Last month, Cottes­loe man Ge­orge Frank War­ing (73) and Su­bi­aco man Clive Valen­tine Ad­di­son (73) were found to have in­ter­fered with rock lob­ster pots be­long­ing to oth­ers in De­cem­ber and Novem­ber 2015, and Oc­to­ber last year.

“Il­le­gal in­ter­fer­ence with fish­ing gear has a max­i­mum penalty of up to $25,000 and im­pris­on­ment for 12 months, and if you try to ob­struct a fish­eries of­fi­cer from un­der­tak­ing their law­ful du­ties, you will face fur­ther charges, which carry penal­ties of up to $10,000 and 12 months im­pris­on­ment,” De­part­ment of Fish­eries com­pli­ance man­ager Todd A’Vard said.

The De­part­ment would not tol­er­ate “fish thieves”, he said.

“Our mes­sage has been clear this sea­son that we don’t tol­er­ate any gear in­ter­fer­ence and not only do you risk hav­ing your boat seized, you could have your fish­ing li­cence sus­pended or can­celled,” he said.

Mr War­ing and Mr Ad­di­son were also charged with us­ing more lob­ster pots than al­lowed by law.

They and two other men were charged af­ter Fish­eries and Marine sur­veil­lance, while five other boats have also been seized.

Mr War­ing was fined $5000 plus costs and Mr Ad­di­son was pe­nalised $2500 and costs.

Co-ac­cused Digby Thomas­nat Yel­ing (32), of Bic­ton, and East Fre­man­tle man Thomas Wil­liam Stran­sky (31) were both fined $10,000 and costs for of­fences in­clud­ing fail­ing to tail clip the tails of recre­ation­ally-caught lob­sters. Re­port il­le­gal fish­ing on 1800 815 507.

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