Commercial Fisher Loses Licence For 12 Months

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5th June 2009, 06:53pm - Views: 667

Media Release
5 June 2009 24/2009

Commercial fisher loses licence for 12 months

A magistrate in Kununurra has stripped a 54-year-old man of his commercial fishing licence for
12 months, after the fisher committed a number of netting offences last year.

Not only has Jeffrey Malcolm Williams lost his licence, he was also banned from being onboard
any commercial fishing vessel for a year and ordered to pay $6,265 in fines court costs.

The Kununurra court was told yesterday (Thursday 4 June) that, in January 2008, Williams had
fished on successive days with nets that were in excess of the allowable 1500 metres.

Fisheries and Marine Officers also apprehended Williams in August of 2008 for again having
netting in excess of the allowable length and meshing requirement.

Under commercial fishing rules for Lake Argyle a person must fish with no more than 1500
metres of net, or use a net with a drop of greater than 30 meshes.

The offender, who did not appear in court, had pleaded guilty and was yesterday fined $700 and
ordered to pay an additional mandatory penalty of $370 and court costs of $471 for having
excess net length in January 2008.

In his absence Williams was also found guilty and fined $800, with a mandatory penalty of $310
for the fish involved, in relation to his excess net length offence in August 2008 and further fined
$3,500 and court costs of $114.20 for having excess mesh drop at that time.

Department of Fisheries Northern Region Compliance Manager Stuart McDowall said the fines
and loss of licence for Williams were appropriate in highlighting the seriousness of the offences.

"These were repeated offences in which Williams had used nets that did not comply with fishing
rules or breached conditions of his commercial fishing licence," Mr McDowall said.

"Management rules for commercial operations are set to maintain sustainability of fish stocks
and create a level playing field, so that no-one can take an unfair advantage.

"The magistrate's ruling means that Williams will pay a heavy price for not complying, by not
being able to continue his commercial fishing operations, or even be on board a commercial
fishing vessel, for 12 months.

"All fishers need to be aware that significant penalties apply if you are caught breaking the
rules, and that even when operating in a remote location, such as Lake Argyle, Fisheries Officers
will still conduct inspections of commercial and recreational fishers".


Ashley Malone Ph: 9203 0357
Principal Media Liaison Officer Mobile: 0418 901 767

Shark sightings should be reported to the Water Police on 9442 8600

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