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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

​See the net fishing rules guide

Wednesday 26 February 2020

Illegal use of nets for fishing costs two Mid West men more than $6,500

​The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has issued a warning to fishers to make sure they adhere to fishing rules relating to the use of set, haul or gill nets or they could face tough penalties.

This comes after two men from the Mid West were this month found guilty in Geraldton Magistrates Court of three charges relating to taking fish by way of a set net and exceeding the daily bag limit for mullet from the Greenough River.

A 50 year-old from Cape Burney and Northern Gully man, aged 32, were fined a combined total of $6,508.62 in fines, mandatory additional penalties and court costs.

On 12 November 2019, the men were stopped by DPIRD compliance officers, as the offenders left Greenough River boat ramp with their dinghy in tow.

The officers located a gill net in the boat along with a catch of mullet, tailor and trumpeter, and it was established that the fish in the boat had been caught by using a set net.

The magistrate ordered the net and fish be forfeited to the department for destruction.
 Set net seized after illegal fishing in Greenough River

Acting Supervising Fisheries and Marine Officer Matthew Gogoll said DPIRD compliance officers regularly patrolled inland waters, in search of any illegal fishing activity.

“Taking fish using a set, haul or gill net from rivers, estuaries and inlets in Western Australia south of the Tropic of Capricorn (23 parallel) is prohibited,” Mr Gogoll said.

“These systems are critical to a variety of species. They provide food and shelter for juvenile fish as well as being avenues for migratory species including mulloway and tailor.

“The penalties handed down in this case reflect the seriousness of the offence.

“Those intending to fish by means of a net where it is permitted in WA, are reminded they are required to hold a current recreational netting licence.”

Find out more in the Net fishing guide. Anyone who suspects illegal fishing activity should call FishWatch on 1800 815 507 to report what they’ve seen. It’s recommended you do not approach anyone you think is involved in illegal activity involving fish or fishing. However, by reporting what you see you will be helping to protect WA's fish resources for future generations.

Last modified: 26/02/2020 2:22 PM

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