THE Armadale Gosnells Landcare Group has raised concerns over the number of illegal marron and fish traps found in local rivers.
The group said they had been working to raise awareness in the community about the environmental harm they can cause, after finding illegal traps in the Wungong and Canning rivers.
Chairman of the group Ken Downsborough said drop nets, scoop nets and snares were the only legal way to catch marron in WA.
“I think that fishing for marron and other crayfish is such a big part of the area’s identity that people do not realise that pots and traps are not allowed in the river,” he said.
“There are good reasons for restricting the types of trap used in our rivers. Illegal traps often catch undersized marron, as well as other wildlife.”
Department of Fisheries south metropolitan acting compliance manager Ryan Parker said those found guilty could receive a court fine of up to $5000, plus an additional mandatory penalty of $50 per marron caught in the illegal equipment.
“It is often a problem and, where encountered by Fisheries Officers, the equipment is seized and often destroyed and we prosecute anyone we find using traps for fishing,” he said.
“The Department of Fisheries has been involved in joint education efforts to raise the issue of illegal use of traps; however, the onus is always on the person fishing to ensure they do so according to the rules.”
To report a sighting of illegal traps or suspected illegal fishing, call FishWatch on 1800 815 507.
The Armadale Gosnells Landcare Group can also be contacted on 0412 713 582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.