Fish­er­man lands $5000 fine

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

A 24-YEAR-OLD com­mer­cial fish­er­man was fined $5000 in the Proser­pine Mag­is­trate’s Court on Mon­day af­ter plead­ing guilty to a to­tal of seven of­fences, pri­mar­ily re­lat­ing to the place­ment, mark­ing and light­ing of nets.

Travis Brian Rynn was also charged with fail­ing to com­ply with reg­u­la­tions re­lat­ing to fish­ing ap­pa­ra­tus or fish­ing meth­ods.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the Depart­ment of Fish­eries, Ms M. Hep­worth, said Rynn’s two nets were strung from “bank to bank” across a creek.

Ms Hep­worth said the depart­ment was par­tic­u­larly con­cerned about Rynn’s abil­ity to at­tend those nets, given his po­si­tion 2700 and 3650 me­tres away from them.

She said rules about dis­tances were put in place to stop larger an­i­mals such as tur­tles and dugongs from po­ten­tially be­com­ing trapped in nets.

De­fence lawyer, Mr C.J. Thomp­son of Law Essen­tials, said since com­mit­ting these of­fences Rynn had taken sev­eral steps to en­sure they could not re-oc­cur.

Mr Thomp­son said Rynn had cut his nets in half, bought a depth sounder and GPS plot­ter and at­tended boat­ing and fish­eries meet­ings along the coast to gain a bet­ter grasp of the rules.

Mag­is­trate Haydn St­jern­qvist took into ac­count Rynn’s young age and lack of pre­vi­ous his­tory but ruled that the penalty should act as a de­ter­rent, both to the of­fender and other peo­ple in the com­mu­nity at large.

In ad­di­tion to the $5000 fine, Rynn was or­dered to pay $81.10 in court costs.

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