Dudley Park man cops heavy fine for illegal lobster fishing

Stock image.
Stock image.

A MAGISTRATE has issued an $11,000 fine and $190 in court costs against a Dudley Park man, who on a number of occasions set and pulled a lobster pot that was registered to his wife, not him, and also interfered with other pots that did not belong to him or family members.

It is an offence for a person to pull or set a rock lobster pot, unless that fishing gear has the identification number unique to that person’s rock lobster licence.

The court was told 36-year-old Richard Collard of Dudley Park along with Daylan Nathan (also aged 36) from Halls Head went out on the water, near Blue Bay at Halls Head, on November 7, 2016 and Fisheries officers observed them pulling, setting or interfering with nine lobster pots.

Collard, who was the skipper and owner of the vessel the men were on, entered a plea of guilty, when he appeared in the Mandurah Court on Friday, November 17, 2017. Nathan, who had previously pleaded guilty at an earlier court appearance, was fined $4500 and costs of $190 on October 13, 2017.

It was also revealed in court that during targeted surveillance of Collard’s vessel, in Blue Bay, on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, he was observed with another man Daniel Potter (aged 32 from Halls Head) pulling, setting or interfering with five rock lobster pots.

Potter was fined $2000 and ordered to also pay court costs of $190 for his offences.

Compliance Manager for the South Metropolitan Region John Breeden said the nature of rock lobster fishing required pots to be set and left unattended.

“Pots are marked clearly with unique floats and gear identification numbers, so there is no excuse for confusing one pot with another,” Mr Breeden said.

“WA’s fisheries are well managed and the minority of fishers who do the wrong thing have triggered community backlash, especially through social media, so the significant result in this case shows how serious the consequences of offending can be.”

Call FishWatch on 1800 815 507.