Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley has urged recreational fishers to remember the rules following the capture of two men at Harvey Dam with a haul of 418 marron – 259 of which were under the legal size limit of 90mm – by South-West Fisheries officers.
The officers were part of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) Operation Shadowedge aimed at cracking down on out-of-season marron fishing.
All the marron were returned alive to the water and investigations are continuing into the two men from Perth’s northern suburbs who face potential prosecution and, if guilty, significant fines.
If the maximum general penalties of $5,000 for non-possession period and for total protected fish (related to the undersize marron) were applied, along with mandatory additional penalties, each of the alleged offenders could potentially face fines up to $43,850.
The mandatory penalties are calculated at 10 times 418 marron at the prescribed value of $5 each for the first offence and ten times 259 marron at $5 each for the undersize offence.
Operation Shadowedge has been underway for several months and uses sophisticated surveillance methods and increased fisheries officer presence in our State’s South-West.
The recreational marron fishing season runs annually in Western Australia from noon on January 8 until noon on February 5, 2020. Fishers require a valid licence.
DPIRD Fisheries Officers will continue to patrol popular marron fishing locations in the lead up to the season, to ensure fishers are not getting in early before the season.
More information is available in the latest ‘Marron recreational fishing guide’, which is available online at https://www.fish.wa.gov.au/
As stated by Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley:
“This is a timely reminder for anyone that WA closely monitors its freshwater and marine fish resources, to ensure sustainable and enjoyable fishing opportunities for all.
“The officers involved in last night’s bust made a significant contribution by catching the alleged offenders and also by ensuring the marron could be returned to the water.
“I urge recreational fishers to make use of the FishWatch reporting line on 1800 815 507 to report any suspected illegal fishing activity.
“When the community provides the eyes and ears that help protect our fisheries, we all benefit.”
Minister’s office – 6552 5300