by Hugo Zoller
A 59-year-old Brunswick man had his boat seized by Fisheries Officers in Black Rock on Easter Monday for allegedly exceeding the bag limit for snapper and trying to conceal part of his illegal catch.
Fisheries Officers inspected the man’s vessel at the Black Rock boat ramp at approximately 7.50 PM, and were shown a bucket of nine snapper.
The Officers then conducted a search of the vessel and located two portable drill cases behind the fuel tank.
The cases allegedly contained a further 22 legal size snapper, which made the man’s total catch of 31 snapper far in excess of the daily bag limit of ten.
The man’s vessel was seized and, when the matter goes to court, the Magistrate will decide if it is to be forfeited.
He is expected to be charged on summons with exceeding the bag limit for snapper and hindering and obstructing Fisheries Officers by concealing part of his catch.
If found guilty the man may face fines of up to $3000 plus costs and potentially a criminal conviction. Acting Senior Fisheries Officer Chris Smith said that snapper were a popular target species in Port Phillip Bay, so it was imperative that anglers observed all relevant fisheries regulations.
'Exceeding bag limits or keeping juvenile fish can threaten the sustainability of our fish stocks,' Mr Smith said .
'Fisheries Victoria does not tolerate the concealing of fish to try and avoid inspection by our Officers and won’t hesitate in seizing any vessels, vehicles or equipment involved.'
The law states that a person must not take or have in his or her possession more fish than the catch limit for that species of fish.
Anyone who sees or suspects illegal fishing activity is urged to contact the 24-hour fisheries offence reporting line 13 FISH (13 34 74).
DPI Victoria Government