18 Illegal Crab Fishers Fined In Fremantle Court

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30th July 2009, 12:38pm - Views: 705

Media Release
30 July 2009 33/2009

18 illegal crab fishers fined in Fremantle Court
18 recreational fishers have been fined this week, for offences related to illegal crab fishing
activities in Cockburn Sound.
Cockburn Sound has been closed to crab fishing since December 2006, to allow time for the
stocks to recover from poor recruitment and low stock numbers and to protect the sustainability
of the fishery.
In Fremantle Court on Tuesday (28 July 2009), 18 people were ordered to pay between $264 and
$554 in fines, mandatory penalties and court costs after being apprehended and charged by
Fisheries and Marine Officers with illegal crab fishing earlier this year.
The offences were detected between Sunday 1 March and Sunday 10 May this year.
South Metropolitan Region Compliance Manager John Breeden said the offenders had now paid
a high price for ignoring the current ban on crab fishing in Cockburn Sound.
"Some offenders did not have crabs in their possession, but they were clearly out there fishing
for them," Mr Breeden said. "In many cases they have also been ordered to forfeit fishing gear.
"The worst of the offenders had caught up to 14 crabs when they were intercepted by Fisheries
and Marine Officers at Henderson or Woodman Point.
"I'm pleased that our Fisheries and Marine Officers in Fremantle and Rockingham have been
able to secure these prosecutions as a warning to others who might consider breaking the rules.
"A further seven people will face Fremantle Court in coming weeks and 26 others are due to
appear in Rockingham Court within the next month, on similar charges related to alleged illegal
crab fishing in the waters of Cockburn Sound."
Ongoing research on crab stocks is being carried out in Cockburn Sound and the decision to
close it to both commercial and recreational fishing in the area is reviewed annually.
A booklet - Recreational Fishing Guide for Crustaceans and Shellfish that includes details
on Western Australian crab fishing can be downloaded from the Department of Fisheries'
website at www.fish.wa.gov.au.
The guide not only shows the rules that apply in various locations, it also shows you how to
measure crabs and other fish as well as explaining why the closures and other rules are important
for sustainability. A crab fishing rules flyer is available from Fisheries' offices.
Ashley Malone Ph: 9203 0357
Media Liaison Officer Mobile: 0418 901 767

Report all suspected illegal fishing activity to FISHWATCH 1800 815 507

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