A QLD licenced Prawn Trawler operator from Iluka has been apprehended during a joint response by NSW DPI Tweed Heads Fisheries Officers and NSW Police Marine Area Command.
On 12th of August this year officers boarded the Queensland endorsed prawn trawler, which operates out of Southport, QLD where investigations identified that the trawler was operating illegally without endorsement to take prawns from NSW waters.
The trawler had been targeting prawns in NSW offshore waters, in approximately 55 fathoms, 12 nautical miles east off Kingscliff, NSW.
The trawler was directed back to Tweed Heads where three trawl nets were removed and seized. About 70 kg of prawns were returned alive to the water.
The maximum penalty for a person who uses a net to take fish for sale in NSW waters without the appropriate endorsement is $22,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment (or both) for a first offence.
The maximum penalty for a person who takes fish for sale from NSW waters without a commercial fishing licence is $110,000 for a first offence.
A prosecution brief is being compiled and the master of the vessel is expected to appear in court over the charges.
Report illegal fishing via the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536 or online at: http://tiny.cc/c7nmsz