Each year our officers conduct around 50,000 checks of recreational and commercial fishers leading to the detection of about 7,000 offences. Our officers seize finfish and shellfish when they have been taken contrary to NSW fishing laws and fishing gear may be seized when it’s used to break those laws.
Procedures for fish and fishing gear that is seized:
– In the event that officers seize a large quantity of dead fish from a commercial fishing operation or where the species are high value and have been stored in accordance with food safety requirements, the officers may consign them for sale and the proceeds are held by the department pending outcomes of compliance action.
– Fishing gear and other equipment seized is also securely stored at fisheries office locations.
– NSW DPI Fisheries has very strict policies in place to ensure that all seizures are managed, stored or disposed of in an accountable and transparent manner.
– Anyone who has fish or fishing gear seized from them is issued with a notice of seizure (a receipt) that shows what the fisheries officer seized, its condition and how many fish or fishing gear items were taken.
Once offence compliance action has been finalized i.e. through payment of penalty notice or resolution of the matter in court, seized items can be disposed of:
– Frozen fish can be destroyed or returned to aquatic ecosystems in a controller manner to enter the food chain.
– High value legal seized gear such as hookah, air tanks, forfeited boats and motor vehicles may be sold using the Grays Online auction system or sold by tender according to the Department’s tendering procedures.
– Low value seized fishing gear is usually destroyed.
Report illegal fishing via the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536 or online at: https://fal.cn/3fjE9