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Author Topic: Fishermen allegedly caught red-handed with illegal setlines  (Read 1105 times)

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Fishermen allegedly caught red-handed with illegal setlines
24 April 2014 - Vic DEPI

A report from the community has led to a number of infringement notices for the use of commercial fishing equipment being issued to fishermen on northern waters this Easter period.

DEPI Regional Fisheries Manager Mike Hosking said: "It is another example of the 13FISH hotline working and providing the public with a means to report illegal fishing activity."
"Fisheries officers conducted surveillance following the anonymous tip-off and allegedly witnessed the retrieval and setting of setlines, classified as commercial fishing equipment," Mr Hosking said
"Individual infringement notices to the value of $722 were issued relating to the possession and use of commercial fishing equipment.

"The maximum penalty for using commercial fishing equipment without authority is $14,400 or six months imprisonment or both under Section 36 of the Fisheries Act 1995.

"It is also highlighted in the Recreational Fishing Guide that such equipment is not to be used in Victorian waters.

"This equipment is heavily regulated and enforced due to the detrimental effect it can have on a wide variety of fish and other non-target species such as tortoise, platypus and a wide variety of water birds.

"It is illegal to use commercial fishing equipment and those caught doing so will be heavily penalised."

Fisheries officers will continue to be out in force until after the Anzac Day long weekend as part of Operation Radius.

The enforcement and regulation of bag and size limits plus the type of equipment used, ensures the sustainable distribution and the protection of fish populations for all recreational fishers.

You can help ensure all Victorians have fish for the future by complying with fishing regulations and reporting those who break the rules to 13FISH (phone 13 3474), a state-wide 24/7 fisheries offence reporting line.

Since the inception of 13FISH in 2003, more than 18,626 calls have resulted in the issuing of 1,278 infringement notices, 150 court prosecutions, 2978 intelligence reports generated, the seizure of countless pieces of fishing equipment, and a number of significant investigations undertaken (correct at 31 December 2013).

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