Friday, January 21, 2011

near Rottnest

Pottering about - this just in from the Dept of Fisheries...

The Department of Fisheries has welcomed a magistrate’s decision to ban two men from fishing for 12 months and the big fines imposed on them, for illegally pulling other fishers’ lobster pots.

In Fremantle Court this week (Tuesday 18 January 2011), Magistrate Robert Lawrence ordered the men to pay fines, penalties and court costs of $6128.40 each, after they pleaded guilty to seven charges against both of them.

Magistrate Lawrence also warned the men that, if they breached the order preventing them from being involved in any fishing activity for a year, they would be committing a further offence and would be liable to a potential fine of $10,000 and six months imprisonment.

Jose Manual ROCHA of Fremantle and Joao Garces GONCALVES of White Gum Valley were fishing near Rottnest on the 29th and 30th of March, when Fisheries and Marine Officers observed the men pulling a total of 19 recreational rock lobster pots.

Acting North Metropolitan Compliance Manager Ryan Parker said not only had the pair pulled more than the daily limit of four pots, our investigations quickly determined that some of the pots did not belong to them and they had not been given permission by the lawful owners to retrieve them.

“We get a lot of calls from rock lobster fishers, who suspect their pots have been interfered with, so this is a warning to wrong-doers that we can and will pursue those who fish illegally in this way,” Mr Parker said.

“When they were apprehended at the Leeuwin Boat Ramp, the men had also knowingly concealed excess catch and undersize fish. The magistrate said all the offences were very serious and the pair had shown a blatant disregard for the law. The big fines and the fishing ban he has imposed deliver a significant outcome that will be a major deterrent.”

More details about the rules for recreational rock lobster and crab fishing are available from the Department of Fisheries’ website at

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