24 May 2013
A commercial fisherman has been convicted for providing false and misleading information to PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture in relation to his quota of Southern Rocklobster.
A 51 year old Port MacDonnell fisherman was found guilty in Mount Gambier Magistrates Court earlier this month.
The commercial fisherman was alleged to have falsified the recorded weight of Rocklobster he had caught and was found guilty of the allegations which spanned two fishing seasons.
PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture Regional Manager Limestone Coast, Mel Snart, said the charges were viewed seriously due to the impact they could have on the integrity of the quota managed fishery.
“Regulations are in place to manage the integrity of quota fisheries, and they are a vital management tool to ensuring stock sustainability and equity amongst fishers,” Ms Snart said.
“When individuals choose to breach these requirements, it undermines the effectiveness of the whole management system.”
The fisherman was convicted and fined $1800 plus the victim of crimes levy imposed by the court.
In addition, his Southern Zone Rocklobster licence will attract 100 demerit points.
Commercial fishers are subject to a demerit point system, where the accrual of more than 200 points within five years will result in the cancellation of a fishing licence and with an individual, disqualification from holding or obtaining a fishing authority and fishing as a master of any licence in South Australia for a period of 10 years.
Members of the public are encouraged to report illegal or suspicious fishing activity through the 24 FISHWATCH number on 1800 065 522. Callers can choose to remain anonymous.