Mandurah: nine plead guilty to possessing undersized crabs

NINE people pleaded guilty to possessing undersized crabs in Mandurah Magistrates Court today.

One of them received a mandatory penalty of $7400 for possessing 148 undersized crabs.

Sun Jian Wang pleaded guilty to possessing 148 undersized crabs at Coodanup estuary on November 7, 2015.

The Department of Fisheries lawyer claimed Wang was in the water with four co-accused.

Wang thought he could measure the crabs on the shore using his mobile phone.

All crabs were seized and returned to the estuary.

Wang has lived in Australia for one-and-a-half years and said he did not know the rules around crabbing.

He was told he would have to pay the mandatory $7400 penalty.

Wang said it would be difficult for him to pay because he has two children and a mortgage and asked if he could have a different penalty.

Magistrate Vivien Edwards said she could not reduce the mandatory penalty, but fined him a minimum amount of $200.

Wang will have to pay $7600 in total.

His co-accused will appear on a later date.

Jun Wang (45) and Li Gen Guo (46) were crabbing on December 20 and had in their possession 29 undersized blue manna crabs.

They were crabbing in the Peel-Harvey estuary in Bouvard.

Fisheries Officers were observing them and waiting for them to return to the shore and when Wang and Guo spotted the officers they ran out into deeper water.

The officers followed them into waist deep water to stop them throwing the crabs from their bucket.

Wang and Guo, who required a Mandarin translator, pleaded guilty to obstructing fisheries officers and possessing crabs.

The translator told the court they had some issue with the facts.

He said they were in knee high water, but accepted that they were guilty.

The couple arrived in Australia from China on 457 Visas in 2006.

Counsel for the accused said they have an inherit fear of authorities and people in uniforms.

They tipped the crabs over because they thought they were not allowed to have them at all.

Counsel said the couple planned to take the crabs to the shore to measure them.

They were fined $1000 each and a mandatory penalty of $1450.

Graham Noel Gent pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting female fisheries officers.

The court heard he was crabbing on the Old Mandurah Bridge on November 22 when he was approached by the officers.

He was remanded for sentencing on June 10.

Hannah Din and Eh Ku attempted to plead guilty to obstructing fisheries officers and possessing 85 undersized crabs.

However, Magistrate Vivien Edwards was unsure that they could understand the court proceedings.

Mrs Din and Mr Ku speak a Burmese dialect and there are only two translators in WA.

Their case was adjourned until April 26 for a translator.

Juanjuan An, Sicheng Wan and Yu An were prosecuted in their absence to possessing crabs.

They had in their possession 43 crabs at the Mandurah Traffic Bridge.

Witnesses told the group the rules about crabbing, but they ignored this and placed the crabs into the boot of their car.

Fisheries arrived, but the group refused to take part in an interview.

They were fined $web subbed750 each and a mandatory penalty of $1900.