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Author Topic: Today's Dubbo Paper- Illegal Fishing!  (Read 2794 times)

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Today's Dubbo Paper- Illegal Fishing!
« on: April 30, 2011, 11:28:06 PM »
Fishy business: Black market trade suspected in Dubbo
FAYE WHEELER- Front Page of Today's Dubbo Daily liberal
30 Apr, 2011 04:00 AM
A Dubbo restaurateur will be reported for allegedly selling Murray cod and other fish illegally obtained in what has been referred to as a “black market fish trade”.
NSW Department of Primary Industries detected the restaurateur during a recent compliance operation, but a Dubbo fisherman said it was not enough.

Matt Hansen criticised the department for allowing “rife” illegal fishing in Dubbo and across the central west and for expecting two staff to cover the Macquarie region, “25 per cent of NSW”.

Mr Hansen called for the department to post more fisheries officers to the Macquarie region to stop the environmental destruction.

The keen recreational fisherman this week took his campaign to primary industries minister Katrina Hodgkinson. His email to the new minister claimed that illegal set lines (droppers) littered the Macquarie River, along with drum nets and some gill nets.

Mr Hansen told the Daily Liberal of the first Dubbo cub pack retrieving an “illegal and abandoned drum net, complete with rotting native fish carcasses” on Clean Up Australia Day last month.

It was found within sight of Dubbo’s central business district, he said.

“This again demonstrates how some members of the public have complete disregard for the law,” he said.

Mr Hansen regarded illegal fishing practices as a “common occurrence”.

“Many members of the public seem to hold no regard, or are unaware of the rules and regulations that apply to central west rivers, and it is hurting the health of the river system immeasurably,” he said.

He also claimed “a black market fish trade” existed between fishers and local restaurants and that he had never seen a fisheries compliance officer on the water.

The department defended its operations and highlighted recent successes, including action against the Dubbo restaurateur.

Patrols were regularly undertaken on the Macquarie River system by fisheries officers from the Macquarie office, a spokeswoman said.

Fisheries officers from adjoining districts assisted during peak periods of fishing activity and as part of targeted compliance operations, she said.

They conducted a range of compliance operations, working in teams to deter illegal fishing activity and also used covert surveillance to detect the use of gill and drum nets and other illegal fishing equipment, she said.
“A compliance operation was recently undertaken in the Dubbo area focusing on the black marketing of native fin fish,” she said.
“As a result of this operation a local Dubbo restaurant operator will be reported for allegedly selling fish illegally obtained, including Murray Cod.
Anyone who witnesses illegal fishing activity should report it to the Fishers’ Watch Phone Line on 1800 043 536.

Matt Hansen. Dubbo Catches and the Central West Angler Author. Lake Burrendong Classic President- Not for profit Catch and Release annual comp- Easter every year. All proceeds to re stocking.
Sustainable Fishing - Not Freezer Filling!


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