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Illegal fishing ‘charter’ found guilty

13 April 2012

A man has been found guilty of operating a fiwallershing charter business for unsuspecting holiday makers without a licence and without a commercial certificate of competency.

Kenneth James Waller, 61, of Kangaroo Island, was fined $1750 and ordered to pay court costs and a victims of crime levy for running the charter from his Nepean Bay holiday home on Kangaroo Island.

The Court heard Waller charged $100 to run an advertised fishing charter. His 5.5m fiberglass boat was not licensed as either a commercial or fishing charter vessel.

It had not undergone a marine survey inspection and did not have a subsequent survey certificate, required under national standards.
Waller was also charged with fisheries offences following extensive investigations by both the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) and Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA).

Director of Transport Safety Regulations, Brian Hemming, said officers were pleased with the results.

“This is not about fines, but about the safety risks posed by unscrupulous operators,” he said.

“By not maintaining the proper compliance standards, this person, and indeed anyone else doing the same thing, placed someone’s life in danger every time he ran a charter – and he charged them for it.

“If you are on the water – ensure you’re safe; it’s not just about having the correct equipment on board; flares, life-jackets and radios, it’s about ensuring the vessel is also maintained.

“If you do go on a charter, make sure the operator has the right accreditation and complies with national standards – ask for verification if there’s any doubt”.