Anketell man fined for illegal fishing

DEPARTMENT of Fisheries is reminding fishers that using illegal fishing gear will land them in legal trouble after an Anketell man was fined over a number of illegal fishing offences.

In Exmouth Court on March 8, Brian Robert Elsum (65) was fined $600 and forced to forfeit his 27-hook setline for breaching a number of fishing gear guidelines.

The court heard that on Friday October 23 last year, Department of Fisheries compliance officers received information about illegal fishing activity at Giralia Station in the Exmouth Gulf.

When fisheries and marine officers arrived, they retrieved two nets from Giralia Bay that had been set using metal stakes and one setline, with 27 hooks attached, which were unattended at the time.

While retrieving the nets, a number of fish were released into the water.

In a video interview, Elsum admitted to owning and setting the two nets and the line.

Senior fisheries and marine officer Ben Gryta said the practice of setting lines with dozens of hooks was an unacceptable and illegal method of fishing.

“Exmouth is surrounded by remote coastline and fisheries and marine officers are determined to investigate and respond to illegal fishing activity,” he said..

“Fishers should be aware that even in remote locations they need to stick to the rules.”

Net fishers in the Gascoyne are permitted to use only one net at a time and must be in attendance of that net; the use of metal stakes such as star pickets is also prohibited.

When line fishing in Western Australian waters, fishers must be attending to the line and are restricted to no more than three baits per line.

For more information on WA’s fishing rules visit www.fish.wa.gov.au.

To report illegal fishing practices call FISHWATCH on 1800 815 507.