NSW Department of Primary Industries Fisheries officers recently conducted a surveillance operation on the Darling River upstream of Menindee, where they apprehended two males from Broken Hill.
Fisheries officers alleged they observed the two men, aged 64 and 67, using a gill net to take fish from the waters of the Darling River. DPI’s director of fisheries compliance Patrick Tully said gill nets are strictly prohibited in NSW and any unlawful fishing activity will not be tolerated.
“As a result of the surveillance operation, Fisheries Officers seized a 3.5m aluminium punt with 15hp outboard motor, 60m monofilament gill net, a number of yabby traps and a quantity of fish including 12 golden perch,” Mr Tully said. “Golden perch are listed as a priority species as their abundance has dramatically decreased in the Murray-Darling system. The use of gill nets and excessive quantities of fishing gear may result in heavy fines, including prosecution and loss of gear, including boats.”
The two men will soon face charges relating to unlawful use of a gill net, using excess yabby traps, exceeding the daily bag limit for golden perch and possessing fish unlawfully taken. If convicted in court each of these offences carries a maximum penalty for individuals of $22,000 and six months’ imprisonment for the first offence.
Anyone with information on suspected illegal fishing activity is urged to contact their local Fisheries office, call the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536 or report illegal fishing activities online at dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/compliance/report-illegal-activity