A 48-year-old Redcliffs man and a 45-year-old Merbein man were sentenced in the Wentworth Local Court after pleading guilty to a number of offences associated with the unlawful use of fish traps in the Murray River near Dareton.
The two men were approached by Fisheries Officers following a period of surveillance on a number of unlawful traps. The officers were obstructed in the exercise of their duties and the two men failed to comply with lawful requirements made of them during the course of the interaction. The men were subsequently identified and located by officers in the days following.
The men were charged with two counts of unlawful use of trap, two counts of possess fish illegally taken, and fail to comply with requirement to provide information. In addition, the Redcliffs man was charged with obstruction and two counts of failing to pay the NSW recreational fishing fee.
The Magistrate convicted both men and imposed fines for the offending. The Redcliffs man was fined a total of $9,600 while the Merbein man was fined a total of $8,000. In addition, both men were ordered to pay costs to the prosecution.
The unlawful use of fish traps presents a serious risk to the sustainability of our freshwater native fish populations. Fisheries Officers across inland NSW continue to prioritise this type of offending in an effort to preserve fish stocks for future generations to come. Persons found engaging in this type of illegal fishing activity can expect to be put before the Courts.
Members of the public can provide confidential information regarding illegal fishing activity by reporting to Fishers Watch on freecall 1800 043 536 or online at https://fal.cn/3fMUz