Fishing fine five times more costly

File image.
File image.

AN afternoon of fishing became an expensive exercise for a man who didn’t want to accept a simple $200 infringement, instead having to pay five times more.

Joerg Wittkamp was due to appear in Joondalup Magistrate’s Court on Friday and though it was believed he had returned from a holiday in Germany, he did not show.

The Department of Fisheries prosecutor confirmed officers had called and visited Wittkamp’s home but he had avoided them, so he requested to proceed the matter.

He said that about 3pm on March 3, Wittkamp was rope fishing at Mindarie Marina and when officers inspected his bucket of five fish, they found two were under-size pink snapper, measuring 11cm and 12.5cm, instead of the required 50cm, making them a “totally protected fish”.

Wittkamp told officers he was going to throw them back and he put them in the bucket because he “had to put them somewhere”.

Officers issued him a $200 infringement but he “elected to have it heard before a court”.

Magistrate Jennifer Hawkins said this was the third time the matter was due to be heard.

She said while Wittkamp had no prior record, he had the opportunity to deal with the matter through the $200 infringement but chose not to.

Instead he was fined $300, as well as a mandatory penalty of $510 for the two fish imposed by Fisheries and court costs of $225.90, totalling $1035.90.

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