Damage leads to crackdown

Signs indicate where fishing is not allowed around the marina.
Signs indicate where fishing is not allowed around the marina.

Mindarie Marina Services operations manager Daniel Mountney said the company, which holds the lease on the marina and manages its facilities, decided to introduce restrictions on where people could fish before the July school holidays.

Mr Mountney said some boats had suffered damage when fishing hooks caught on them, and some people had damaged the jetties and surrounding infrastructure, stealing taps and stainless steel bolts.

‘Damage to the vessels is one of the big problems,’ he said.

‘As soon as they get a hook caught and they start to yank on it, they tear the canopies.

‘It is a real issue for the safety of vessels ” we are just trying to protect our asset and our penholders’ assets.’

Mr Mountney said although the marina was open to the public, the company had the lease on it, including the seabed.

Signs around the marina indicate areas where fishing is no longer permitted, mainly along the southern boardwalks and the jetties which are not open to the public.

‘You are welcome to come down to the marina, but you need to follow the simple rules at the marina, for safety reasons and to protect people’s property,’ Mr Mountney said.

‘You are asked to move into areas where you can fish ” if you refuse to do so, you are asked to leave the area. Failure to do so, you are then trespassing.

‘We do have the families that come down ” they do the right thing, they just want to have a fish with the kids.

‘We are not trying to completely say ‘that’s it, no more fishing’ like some of the marinas have done.

‘We have got no problem with you fishing here, just stay off the jetties.

‘There’s not a great lot that you are going to catch in here ” it is mainly blowfish.’

The operations manager said the changes resulted from growth in the area, with more than 200 boats docked at the marina now, and 250 pens built.

‘Three or four years ago there weren’t these two jetties here and the marina did have large areas of open space,’ he said.

‘Now that we have put the two jetties in here, the boat traffic has increased.’

Mr Mountney said antisocial behaviour had been a problem, and rubbish was also a big issue.

‘You could pull through this seaweed with a gaff hook and you will find half of it is loaded up with fishing line,’ he said.

‘Bait bags are everywhere ” we pull bucket loads of bait bags out of the water.’

The marina has already prohibited swimming and crab nets in the marina, for safety reasons according to Mr Mountney.

‘We don’t allow crabbing with floats in here ” as soon as they get caught around the prop, it becomes a huge issue,’ he said.

‘We used to have 100 to 200 crab nets in here. We would have boat owners come down to use their boats and they couldn’t even get their boats out the pens ” they were blocked in by crab nets.’

Mr Mountney said people needed to keep clear of areas like the boat ramps and fuelling station.

Lucy Jarvis