2 August 2013
A Yorke Peninsula man has had his boat seized and will be summonsed to face court on charges related to exceeding recreational fishing limits for King George Whiting, following a fisheries operation at Edithburgh on 10 July.
Local Fisheries Officers were alerted by a member of the public and apprehended the man after a check of his boat discovered him in possession of 24 King George Whiting – double the daily bag limit – 12 of which were found concealed within in a hidden compartment aboard the vessel.
Fisheries officers seized the vessel as it was used in the commission of the offence and will be retained as evidence in relation to the hidden compartment.
A subsequent search at the man’s residence resulted in another large quantity of King George Whiting fillets being seized.
If convicted, fines ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 could be applied for offences involving taking and possessing excess fish.
PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture Regional Manager Central South, Randel Donovan, said the apprehension sent a clear reminder that the community is watching.
"It's extremely disappointing to see this type of behaviour which is not only a deliberate attempt to evade the rules, but has the potential to threaten the health of the fishery,” Mr Donovan said.
“Anyone who is aware of suspicious or illegal fishing activity is urged to contact the 24-hour Fishwatch number on 1800 065 522.
“The information provided by the public provides Fisheries with the intelligence to ensure our compliance efforts are directed to areas where they are needed most and helps support the long-term sustainability of our fish stocks.”
Fishers are reminded that the following rules apply to King George Whiting:
• Size limit: 31cm East of 136°E, 30cm West of 136°E
• Daily bag limit: 12 per person
• Daily boat limit: 36 per boat (three or more persons aboard)
• Possession limit: Six times the bag limit (72 fish) or 10kg of fillets. Where a person has possession of both fish and fillets – three times the bag limit (36 fish) and up to 5kg of fillets.