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AFMA nets fishing cheat Australian Fisheries Management Authority



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Australian Fisheries Management Authority

AFMA nets fishing cheat Last updated 19 November 2013

Illegal catching and selling of tuna has proved costly for a skipper from the Commonwealth Tuna fishery who was recently convicted and fined nearly $10,000 in the Coffs Harbour Magistrates Court.

The conviction resulted from a joint investigation conducted by AFMA and NSW Fisheries regarding a failure to declare catch and selling it to an unauthorised fish receiver.

AFMA General Manager of Fisheries Operations, Peter Venslovas, said it was important that commercial fish catches are accurately recorded to make sure that stocks are protected and fishing is sustainable.

“We take this issue very seriously and have increased our activity to target those people who are seeking to breach catch limits.”

AFMA has been working hard to crack down on fishing cheats in recent months with considerable success.

In September, two skippers in South Australia were fined close to $31,000 for fishing in closed areas and one skipper in Tasmania was fined $6,000 for breaching catch limits on shark.

In October, over 100 charges were laid against four fishers in South Australia suspected of under-reporting shark catches.

Mr Venslovas said that this latest result was pleasing and the penalty reflected the seriousness of the crime.

“People who disregard these rules threaten the availability of fish for future generations of Australians to enjoy and the livelihoods of the majority of fishers who do the right thing.”

Fishers found guilty of fishing illegally or selling black-market fish may face jail terms of up to 10 years and fines of up to $42,500 for individuals and $212,500 for a company, in addition to the forfeiture of the value of the catch.

Know where your fish comes from! If you suspect illegal fishing or black-market fish supply to be occurring in your area please contact 1800 CRIMFISH (1800 274 634).

Contact Rebecca Atkins, AFMA Communications 02 6225 5541 or 0447 942 840 or rebecca.atkins@afma.gov.au.