Fish­ers fined, court warn­ing

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News - Holly Thomp­son

Two men have been fined more than $2000 each for tak­ing mar­ron out of sea­son as a mag­is­trate is­sued a warn­ing to fol­low the fish­ing rules.

The men did not ap­pear in Man­jimup Mag­is­trate’s Court on Thurs­day but is­sued a writ­ten plea of guilty.

With the max­i­mum fine for the of­fences be­ing $5000, Mag­is­trate Leanne Atkins used the case as a re­minder for oth­ers to re­spect the State’s fish­ing laws and said the mat­ter “is not triv­ial by any means”.

She said the let­ter from the men con­tain­ing their guilty plea men­tioned they had been try­ing to catch redfin and the mar­ron had been a “sec­ond pri­or­ity at the time”.

It was re­ported they had not been in a hurry to hide the ev­i­dence from fish­eries in­spec­tors, who found them us­ing il­le­gal traps at the War­ren River.

The men also ad­mit­ted they knew the meth­ods they had used were il­le­gal in WA.

The pair asked the court for the min­i­mum penalty as they had

taken full re­spon­si­bil­ity and were first-time of­fend­ers.

Mag­is­trate Atkins said “they knew ex­actly what they were do­ing” and she found it “to­tally un­ac­cept­able that they would have such a dis­re­gard for na­tive fauna”.

She fined them $2000 each, ex­clud­ing court costs, plus a fur­ther $450 each for the num­ber of mar­ron caught.

Mar­ron were only al­lowed to be recre­ation­ally fished with a li­cence be­tween Jan­uary 8 and Fe­bru­ary 5 in 2018.

Freshly caught mar­ron, which can be recre­ation­ally fished for only at the be­gin­ning of the year.

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