Mutilated Fish Seized

Mutilated Fish Seized from Sydney Harbour Wharf

On a rainy Tuesday morning NSW Fisheries Officers seized a total of twelve fish from a fisher returning to his car on a Sydney wharf where he had been fishing through the night.
The fish, comprised of Tailor, Snapper and Yellowfin Bream, all have a prescribed minimum size limit under NSW Fisheries legislation. All fish had their tails cut off. In NSW a person is only allowed to gut and remove gills or scales of fish with a size limit when in or on or adjacent to any waters. It is important not to alter your fish with a minimum size limit, so as not to prevent a Fisheries Officer from being able to identify and measure them.
Mutilated Fish Seized
In NSW there are strict provisions surrounding mutilating restricted species of fish. Exemptions include preparing the fish for immediate consumption, for immediate use as bait, in the course of chartered fishing operations, at fish cleaning facilities or any other place specifically provided or ordinarily used for the cleaning of fish which is not in or on any waters. In all the above circumstances the fish must still meet the required prescribed length.
The fisher claimed that he had not caught the fish himself but rather had been given them by another fisher. Under NSW Fisheries legislation, it is an offence to be in possession of prohibited size or mutilated fish, regardless of whether you caught them or not.
Further information about rules for filleting and cleaning fish can be found in this video:
DPI Fisheries would like to remind fishers to report any suspected illegal fishing activity to the DPI Fishers Watch line on 1800 043 536 or online at

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  1. Hi
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