Father feels fisheries pinch

Michael Yovich and sons Tyson and Joshua reflect on a crabbing trip gone wrong. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d407722
Michael Yovich and sons Tyson and Joshua reflect on a crabbing trip gone wrong. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d407722

That was what Michael Yovich thought when he bought some nets and took his two sons to the estuary for their first crabbing experience.

But the venture has left him depressed and stressed after he copped a $400 fine for his efforts.

Mr Yovich claims he was not aware there was a ban in place for catching blue manna crabs and he was nabbed by Fisheries officers.

‘I didn’t see the signs, apparently there were some in the car park, but I walked,’ he said.

‘I can’t afford the fine and am feeling really down and out.’

Department of Fisheries South West Bioregions manager Tim Nicholas said the closure was in place from September 1 until October 31.

‘There are signs promoting the closure in various locations around the Peel Harvey estuary including one at the eastern end of the Old Mandurah Bridge, one on the western end of the bridge and at most boat ramps around the estuary,’ he said.

Mr Nicholas said there was also information in brochures and at www.fish.wa. gov.au/species/blue-swimmer-crabs.

‘The bottom line is that while the department uses a range of means to promote fishing rules, the responsibility rests with the fisher to ensure they are aware of the rules before they go fishing,’ he said.

‘Any person who is infringed or apprehended for a Fisheries offence is welcome to contact the Department of Fisheries to discuss their concerns.

‘Anyone who receives an infringement fine can elect to pay the infringement or alternatively, they may have the matter brought before the court for consideration and a ruling by a Magistrate.’