United Kingdom

Dubbo fisherman banned for five years after using illegal traps to catch endangered fish

A pair of fishermen have been fined thousands of dollars with one banned from the sport for five years after they were caught using illegal traps to catch endangered fish.

The 49-year-old and 58-year-old faced the Dubbo Local Court earlier this month after being arrested on the Macquarie River, in central New South Wales on June 27.

Police and officers from the state's Department of Fisheries found the pair had used seven traps to catch nine Golden Perch and the threatened Murray Cod.

Officers also seized a grapnel, boat, motor and trailer from the pair.

A pair of fishermen have been fined thousands of dollars with one banned from the sport for five years after they were caught using illegal traps to catch endangered fish

Both men were charged with unlawfully using traps, possessing fish illegally taken and using excess and unattended lines.

The 49-year-old was fined $3,300 and sentenced to seven months in prison to be served as an intensive correction order.

He was also banned from fishing in the state's inland waters west of the Great Dividing Range for five years.

His prohibition orders mean he can't own specific inland fish species or be onboard a boat that has fishing gear or is being used to catch fish for the five-year period. 

The 58-year-old was meanwhile fined $4,900.

Director for Fisheries compliance, Dr Andrew Moriarty said Fisheries Officers would continue to impose harsh punishments on those who break the law.   

'The blatant disregard for fisheries rules and regulations has serious consequences especially if you are a repeat offender,' he said.

Police and officers from the state's Department of Fisheries found the pair had used seven traps to catch nine Golden Perch and the endangered Murray Cod. Their boat was also seized

'Not being able to fish for 5 years is a significant impost for anyone that likes to fish, plus there's the added deterrent of hefty penalties if these individuals are found breaching the prohibition order.'

Dr Moriarty said the maximum penalty for breaching prohibition orders is $22,000 and 12 months behind bars. 

'Fisheries rules and regulations are in place to protect and conserve fish stocks and fishing opportunities for current and future generations, and this type of illegal fishing detracts from all the hard work fisheries officers, and the community do to ensure access to healthy fish stocks for the community of NSW,' he said.  

The pair had caught nine Golden Perch fish when they were arrested by police and Fisheries officers (stock image)

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