Man fined $800 for illegally catching crabs in Cockburn Sound

A CASUAL chat on the Mangles Bay foreshore has ended in court for a man who was seen by Fisheries officers with more than a dive bag full of crabs.

Philip Michael Wiseman sent an endorsed plea of guilty to Rockingham Magistrates Court on August 28 for contravening an order of the minister by recreationally fishing in Cockburn Sound.

The Fisheries prosecutor said officers saw the man chatting to another man on the beach at Mangles Bay at 10.45am on March 2, 2017.

He was wearing a wetsuit and holding dive gear, including a catch bag.

He noticed the officers then began tipping the contents of his catch bag back into the water. Officers shouted for him to stop several times to before they caught up with him. When they did, they saw blue manna crabs swimming away.

A witness had also seen a further two crabs in an esky in his car, but Wiseman claimed to have caught them earlier in Warnbro Sound.

He told officers he wasn’t aware that crabbing wasn’t allowed in Mangles Bay due to it being part of Cockburn Sound.

Magistrate Vivian Edwards fined him $600, along with $200 for the crabs.