Fisherman lands $5000 fine
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.