Net drops on fishermen who fail to obey the law
Three men have copped stiff penalties in Carnarvon Magistrate’s Court this month for fishing in no-take areas.
One man was fined $7475, another ordered to pay $2645 and a third fined $2525 for illegal fishing in the Miaboolya Beach Fish Habitat Protection Area.
Fisheries officers charged Carnarvon man Andrew Nguyen, 59, with several offences after apprehending him on June 26.
Along with 29 green mud crabs, Nguyen also had six blue swimmer crabs, five mulloway, two estuary cod, two mullet, two eels, one yellowfin bream, a Malabar cod and a stingray in his possession.
Most of these were smaller than their legal size limits.
Officers also seized and forfeited a large quantity of fishing gear as part of the sentence.
Fisheries officers stopped two other Carnarvon men, Canh Vo, 32, and Van Vo, 51, in a ute as they were leaving the edge of Miaboolya Creek on March 18.
Both admitted to using three traps to take some of the 11 green mud crabs, 10 of which were smaller than the legal size of 150mm.
They were charged with a number of offences. A Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development spokesman said Fish Habitat Protection Areas need to be respected as important fish and crab nurseries.
“Miaboolya Beach FHPA, has been protected under WA’s fish laws since April 2003, because it has exceptional ecological and community significance and is vulnerable to overfishing,” he said.
“The net is now dropping on people who ignore the law.
“Operation Eastburn has been set up to target offenders who are risking the sustainability of this nursery, with fishing methods that indiscriminately kill everything they catch.”
Carnarvon district Fisheries and Marine officer Matt Clarke said lost traps and nets continued to “ghost fish” and became an ongoing risk to the protection area.
“Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for fisheries and marine officers to come across illegal fishing gear that’s been forgotten or traps and nets hidden for future use,” he said.
“I urge anyone with information about suspected illegal fishing activity there to call FishWatch on 1800 815 507 and report what they know.”
Miaboolya Beach FHPA ... is vulnerable to overfishing DPIRD spokesman