Big fines for Derby fishing breaches
A fishing trip off Derby last October had its expensive sequel recently in the local court with four men found guilty of multiple offences.
Two men from the Perth suburb of Maida Vale, aged 50 and 52, a 61-year-old from Wannanup near Mandurah and a 40-year-old Derby man were issued with more than $14,000 in fines, penalties, and costs.
The court heard the Derby man was the driver of a vehicle towing a boat that failed to stop when requested by a Fisheries officer from the Department of Primary Industries (DPIRD) on 19 October last year.
The vehicle, containing all four men, was pursued by DPIRD officers, but it stopped 300 metres from the boat ramp, where officers checked their catch.
A total of 24 mud crabs and three barramundi were located in a green icebox. Five of the crabs and two of the barramundi were found to be undersized.
Prior to being stopped, the men had been observed on their vessel on the waters of King Sound. None of the accused held a current recreational boat fishing licence.
The mud crab possession limit on a boat is 10, and the offenders were in joint possession of 14 more than the boat limit.
The men were also in joint possession of five undersized mud crabs, and the Wannanup man had possession of the two undersized barramundi.
In handing down the fines, mandatory penalties and court costs for the various offences, the magistrate ordered the 50-year-old Maida Vale man to pay $3,295.50; the 52-year-old Maida Vale man $3,811.70; the 61-year-old from Wannanup $3,179.70, and the 40-year-old Derby man $4,045.50.
DPIRD Regional Compliance North Director, Stuart McDowall, said the court result delivered significant fines against the men, which were appropriate for the wide range of offences committed.
“It’s also a reminder that our officers have significant stop and search powers,” he added.
If you have seen something involving fish or fishing, which doesn’t look quite right, the FishWatch on 1800 815 507 provides a quick and easy way to report it. Alternatively, reports can be sent via the online form on Crimestoppers.
Fisheries officers found undersized crabs and barramundi among the haul.