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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Tuesday 8 January 2019

An important reminder: it's illegal to sell recreationally-caught rock lobster

​It’s the holiday season, with lots of people out enjoying recreational fishing activities and, while people may share their catch with family and friends, it’s illegal to sell, barter or deal in any recreational catch.

Just before Christmas, a Jurien Bay man was ordered to pay $31,869 and prohibited from taking or being in possession of rock lobster on any vessel for 12 months, following a court case that revealed he had illegally sold 39 rock lobster over three separate occasions.

The court heard that the lobsters sold by 63 year old Peter Paul Joseph HERNBERGER were all tail clipped in a manner indicating they had been caught recreationally.

Some of the illegally sold rock lobsters being weighed for evidence

The offences occurred over the summer of 2015/16 and the case has taken three years to reach a conclusion in the Moora Magistrates Court on 20 December 2018.

Acting Compliance Manager for the Mid West Dan Oswald said the majority of recreational fishers did the right thing and some, as happened in this case, had also helped by reporting situations where they suspected things were not quite right.

“The sale of recreationally caught lobster undermines the reputation of the commercial industry and the sustainability of this high value product,” Mr Oswald said.
“Western Australia’s commercial fishing sector has worked hard at establishing a strong and sustainable fishery that is recognised world-wide.

“The illegal selling of rock lobsters not only jeopardises the reputation of commercial operators in the lobster fishery, but also impacts on the small coastal towns where fishing is at the core of their communities.

“The significant financial penalty in this case, along with the court ruling to ban the man from rock lobster fishing for 12 months, provides a strong deterrent to the illegal sale of recreationally caught fish, no matter whether it’s rock lobster or other fish species.” 

Anyone with information on any suspected illegal seafood sales or fishing activity this holiday season, or at any time, should call FishWatch on 1800 815 507. Information can be provided confidentially.

By reporting what you see you will be assisting Fisheries officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development in protecting WA's fish resources.

WA’s recreational fishing rules and limits are available online at and in the Recreational fishing guide. There is also a specific Rock lobster recreational fishing guide.

Last modified: 8/01/2019 11:51 AM

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