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Author Topic: Fishing ban and fine for obstructing Fisheries Officer  (Read 2354 times)

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Fishing ban and fine for obstructing Fisheries Officer
« on: September 17, 2012, 08:36:03 PM »
Media release: Fishing ban and fine for obstructing Fisheries Officer
13 Sep 12 - Victoria Fisheries Department

A 55-year-old Point Cook man has been convicted and fined $1500 for obstructing a Fisheries Officer attempting to inspect his vehicle near Alexandra earlier this year.

The man last week pleaded guilty in the Sunshine Magistrates Court to two charges under the Fisheries Act of obstructing an Authorised Officer and failing to comply with direction of an Authorised Officer.

The court heard that on January 6 this year, the man and his son were fishing at the Acheron River for a number of hours between the townships of Taggerty and Buxton.

The two men were intercepted by a Fisheries Officer upon returning to their vehicle. During the inspection, five rainbow trout in a bag were produced from the boot of the car.

The Officer then advised the man that his vehicle was going to be subject to further inspection.

The man shut the vehicle’s boot and on five separate occasions refused to re-open it to enable the Officer to continue the inspection, before then driving away.

The Officer then requested the assistance of Victoria Police but neither the offender nor his vehicle could be located that day.

However, the Court heard that offender was later tracked down by Victoria Police and on February 24 was conducted to the Alexandra Police Station for formal interview.

In court last week, on top of being convicted and fined, the man was also prohibited from fishing or possessing recreational fishing equipment in, on or next to Victorian waters for 12 months. He was also disqualified from holding a recreational fishing licence.

His actions also breached a suspended sentence current at the time. The Magistrate re-instated the suspended sentence for a further 12 months. The man has appealed his conviction.

Northern Victoria Regional Fisheries Officer Mike Hosking said Fisheries Officers had significant powers of inspection and seizure and fishers were required by law to agree to their requests for inspection.

“Officers routinely inspect anglers’ vehicles and boats to ensure that anglers are fishing sustainably and within the regulations,” Mr Hosking said.

“Fishers who attempt to prevent Officers carrying out their duties to determine where fish bag limits are being complied with face heavy fines and convictions. Officers will not be deterred in their efforts to ensure that there are fish for all anglers.”

Anyone who sees or suspects illegal fishing activity is urged to call the 24 hour fisheries offence reporting line, 13FISH (13 3474).

Recreational fishers are required by law to agree to Fisheries Officers' requests for inspection.

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